A man suspected of stealing at least three cars, swiping food from a convenience store, and breaking into an elderly couple's home was finally captured Friday morning when a worker at a downtown Chandler business became suspicious and called 911.
Lincoln County Sheriff Charlie Dougherty says it began just before 9 a.m. in Skiatook. Ricky Allen Cox was asked to do some work on a church van, but Dougherty says Cox took the van and drove to a woman's house and tried to steal her car. The woman came outside and asked what he was doing. Cox told her he needed her car so he could visit a sick relative.
Dougherty says the woman told Cox to wait there and she would get her car keys and drive him. Instead, she went inside and called 911. She said Cox rushed into her house, grabbed her keys and stole her car.
Sheriff Dougherty says Cox abandoned the woman's vehicle between Depew and Stroud, and stole a pickup. That pickup was later found at a convenience store in Stroud along the Turner Turnpike. Deputies say surveillance cameras recorded Cox stealing Gatorade and other items from the store.
While at the store, Cox abandoned the truck and stole another vehicle, according to the sheriff. He drove to Chandler and turned onto County Road 890 where deputies say he left the road, drove across a pasture and through a gate. Deputies say he ditched the car and walked into a farmer's yard, where he tried to steal the farmer's pickup. The farmer confronted the suspect and the two fought. Sheriff Dougherty says Cox stole $80 to $100 from the farmer and ran away.
Cox ran to a nearby house and went inside, according to the sheriff, where the 90-year-old homeowner asked Cox what he was doing and demanded he leave. Sheriff Dougherty says Cox told the man he just needed to rest and get something to drink. The sheriff says Cox then took some milk and soda from the refrigerator.
The homeowner's wife was outside, but soon walked in. She told deputies she threw an ice cream bucket at Cox and chased him out of the house. Deputies say Cox then grabbed a stepladder and threw it through the couple's window before running away. The couple was not hurt.
The sheriff says Cox walked to downtown Chandler and stopped at a business. Around 11:30 a.m., he asked to use a worker's cell phone. He spoke to someone for a few minutes, returned the phone to the worker and hung around outside. The worker became nervous and dialed 911.
Deputies arrived within minutes and say Cox tried to run away, but after a short foot chase he was captured and arrested.
Sheriff Dougherty says no one was hurt during crime spree.