Men in custody after alleged Walgreens burglaries

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By Ray Dyer and Traci Chapman

Four Fort Worth men are in custody after an alleged burglary of Mustang Walgreens and a high-speed chase. And El Reno police believe the case may be connected to last week’s break-in at the Walgreens here.

Mustang police received a call at 4:35 a.m. July 19, when a resident phoned to say he had seen four suspects leaving the Walgreens store.

“The citizen reported seeing suspects exit the store, enter a white vehicle and leave eastbound on East state Highway 152,” Mustang Capt. Dennis Craig said in a release. Mustang police tried to stop the vehicle, but it sped off. The high-speed chase began, running eastbound from state Highway 152 to Interstate 240, east to the Interstate 35 turn-off, Craig said. At that time, the car crashed into a concrete barrier as the driver attempted to take the southbound highway. Officers logged speeds over 100 miles per hour during the chase.

“During the pursuit, occupants were throwing items from the suspect vehicle,” Craig said. “Officers recovered items, clothing and prescription medications stolen from Walgreens,” the officer said.

One man was arrested at the scene, while three more were found and apprehended with the assistance of Oklahoma City Police Department’s Air-1 and K-9 officers. While one man was immediately taken to Mustang Jail, two of them were taken by Oklahoma City Police to a local hospital for dog bite treatments, officers reported.

Taken into custody were Kenneth Wayne Tolbert, 23; Hylon Alford Solomon, 23; James Richard Wooden, 24; and Christopher Allen Williams Jr. All four men listed Fort Worth, Texas, addresses, Craig said.

According to MPD’s incident report, the suspects allegedly broke in the front door of the business, as well as a second door into the pharmacy. Walgreens pharmacy manager was missing several bottles of narcotics, according to the report. Some of the missing drugs were among those recovered along the roadway, officers reported.

El Reno Chief Ken Brown said the Mustang Walgreens incident looked very similar to the “smash and grab” that occurred here earlier in the week. Brown said two of the suspects in the Mustang case were wearing similar “if not the same clothing” as those thieves who were recorded breaking into the El Reno store.

Brown said investigators have found there have been similar break-ins at Walgreens in the Oklahoma City area. He said lawmen are talking with investigators in the Fort Worth area. He said the Texas investigators reported they have experienced similar incidents all targeting Walgreens that are not 24-hour pharmacies within the last two weeks.

Brown said it has also been learned the vehicle used during the Mustang burglary was stolen and “we believe the vehicle used in El Reno was possibly stolen as well.

“We are confident at least two of the four arrested from the Mustang burglary were also involved in the El Reno burglary,” Brown said.

The thieves used a rock to break the glass front door and then raced to the pharmacy area, reportedly taking narcotics.

The case is under investigation and prosecutors have not yet filed charges, according to Oklahoma State Courts Network.