Thursday, January 28, 2021

Well-Timed Truck Theft Gets Man in Hot Water

A brazen truck theft has Sallisaw police seeking Justin Ray Walker, 25, who has been charged with larceny of an automobile, records show.

A felony arrest warrant was issued Jan. 25 for Walker, who was seen on video jumping into the truck and taking off.

He faces up to five years in the Department of Corrections or a fine in an amount that is equal to three times the value of the property that was stolen or both. His bond was set at $20,000.

On Jan. 11, a Sallisaw man reported that he pulled up to a Dumpster near the Boys & Girls Club. He said he exited the vehicle and walked toward the trash bin. That’s when he heard the door of his 2008 Dodge Ram shut and saw the truck speeding away. He said he had noticed someone sitting near a bench about 20-30 yards away when he pulled up. He later received an alert that the pickup had traveled through both tolls on the Muskogee Turnpike.

Sallisaw police went to review video footage at the Boys & Girls Club and they watched as the subject on the bench near the old school met with the suspect who stole the truck. As they continued watching, they saw the man pull up and spotted someone come running from the old school park and jump into the driver’s seat of the truck. The truck then took off headed north at a high rate of speed.

The person sitting on the bench was identified as Heath Looper, who said the person who took the truck was Walker. Looper said he was moving Walker’s belongings out of a residence where he was staying and they were taking a break at the old schoolhouse, which was about 30 yards from where the truck was stolen. Looper said Walker asked him to watch his stuff while he went back to the residence. Looper said he heard a truck door slam and saw it take off. He said he waited on police but could not prove any of that information.

In a written statement, Looper said he returned to the residence where Walker had been staying, which belonged to another male. The residence was about two blocks from where the truck was stolen.

On Jan. 20, police spoke with homeowner. They showed him a video clip of what appeared to be Walker running to the pickup that was stolen. The homeowner stated that he recognized Walker and said he had made Walker leave his residence and had not seen him since.

Also on Jan. 20, police spoke with a woman to review video footage. The footage showed a male subject running from the park area to the truck. The police took photos of the subject, who was later positively identified as Walker.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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