Survivor Of 1999 Tornado Falls Victim To Burglary In Chickasha

Tuesday, September 4th 2012, 6:39 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

More than 30 homes were broken into around Chickasha and now two suspects are behind bars. The Grady County Sheriff's Office says deputies have arrested Andrew Moore and Clarence Marrow.

9/4/2012 Related Story: Two Arrested In Connection With Grady County Burglaries

Several burglary victims told News 9 they're tracking their stolen stuff to area pawn shops as well as online stores. But they say, they'll likely have to buy their belongings back themselves.

The sheriff believes the two suspects are part of a burglary ring that's operating in Chickasha and the county. And for at least one of the victims, it's not the first time they've had to survive tragedy.

On May 3, 1999 Gayle Vandiver was hiding in a closet in mobile home near Bridge Creek.

"I remember being sucked up," she recalled.

She lost everything except her life.

"I was laying right about here," she said as she pointed to the lawn near her house.

Major damage to her leg put Gayle in a wheelchair for years. Twenty-seven surgeries later, she was back on her feet.

Until early July, when a burglar made her and her husband victims again. The thief stole tools, cleaned out their vehicles, and even took what became Vandiver 's security blanket following the tornado.

"I wanted to be able to do my own grocery shopping, so I got my me a red wagon and I would pull it back to the house, and this is the red wagon that was stolen," she said.

Still, Vandiver found what she thought was the perfect clue, an ID card that the thief apparently dropped during the crime.

"I came out here and yes, it was sitting right here in the gravel," said Vandiver. "And you would think we would be aced right now."

But no. Investigators still haven't tracked down the person who stole Vandiver's stuff. And that is the most frustrating part for a woman who isn't easily shaken.

"It's really not that bad, I feel really blessed, except for the guy breaking in," she laughed.

The Grady County sheriff says the ID card belonged to a Federal prisoner who had an ankle monitor. They checked with his parole officer who says that prisoner was at his Oklahoma City address at the time of the crime.

The sheriff says deputies did arrest Dillon Lindsey near Bridge Creek about a month ago, and says Lindsey may have been responsible for a number of burglaries in that area.