New Okla. Task Force Recovers Over $150K In Merchandise, Sees Decrease In Property Crime
It's been nearly four months since a police task force has hit the streets across the metro, fighting a growing number of area burglaries.
The Multi-jurisdiction Anti-crime Support Effort (MASE) debuted in November and has hit the ground running.
The task force has conducted four search warrants, arrested 10 suspects and recovered over $150,000 in stolen merchandise.
According to the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, since the start of 2019, thieves have stolen more than half a million dollars in property in Oklahoma County.
The numbers have increased, the sheriff’s office said, after voters approved State Question 780 in 2016.
MASE is made up of several sheriff offices, local police and government agencies. Each department brings something to the fight.
“Pottawatomie County brings in the drone program, as you see Lincoln County brings in mobile command which is able to give us radios to communicate with each other,” said Sgt. Paul Harmon from the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office.
Two cases MASE investigators have worked on made headlines including the January discovery of a cockfighting ring near Harrah where two suspects were arrested.
The task force also put a man behind bars in Luther after busting an alleged vehicle chop shop.
“One thing that we've also noticed on a lot of our search warrants is that there are a lot of drugs involved with it,” said Harmon. “We're seeing an increase in the drug crimes along with the property crimes together. Those people tend to be unpredictable so that is why we do bring so many people in.”
The MASE task force is showing no signs of slowing down. Determined to make our community, a safer one.
“We believe it has been a game changer, we're starting to see a little bit of a decrease in the areas where we were getting a lot of property crime before,” said Harmon. “It seems like it is kind of starting to slow down a little bit.”
Task force leaders want to see MASE grow to include more resources which will in turn make the job safer for officers and deputies.
MASE members meet once a month and communicate with each other daily.