A fire in the Macomb area Monday morning led authorities to stolen truck in flames and an attached trailer, which prompted a manhunt and the arrest of a burglary suspect.
The suspect was arrested in connection with an Oklahoma City case where thousands of dollars in construction equipment was taken from a set of businesses Sunday.
Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Capt. Travis Palmer said the Macomb Fire Department responded to an explosion in an area two miles west and north of SH 59B and SH 102 about 9:30 a.m. Monday.
When they arrived, the found a truck on fire in the woods with an attached 16-foot trailer with a Bobcat.
Palmer said fire crews extinguished the truck fire and saved the trailer and Bobcat.
Through investigation, crews learned the trailer and Bobcat were among the items stolen from Oklahoma City businesses Taylor Construction and Arrowhead Concrete. Thieves apparently stole trailers, two Bobcats, a concrete truck and other items Sunday.
It appeared the stolen truck found in Pottawatomie County was being driven deep into a wooded area to be hidden, Palmer said, and while proceeding over dry trees and brush, a fire ignited.
“We felt confident the suspect was still in the area,” Palmer said, so a perimeter was set up, with deputies and officers from other agencies responding.
Palmer, along with Reserve Deputy Mike Massey, were searching an area when they saw something in a farm pond.
“He came floating up in the middle of the pond,” Palmer said, adding the suspect later confessed his part in the burglary. Palmer said the man also had the key for the stolen truck in his pocket.
Palmer said that suspect, Clinton Dewayne Collins, 42, matched one of four suspects captured in the video of the Oklahoma City burglary. He was arrested on complaint of possession of stolen property and booked into the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center, but was expected to be transferred to Oklahoma County.
The suspect was reported to be a past employee at the businesses, Palmer said. An Oklahoma City police detective responded to Pottawatomie County Monday as part of this case and the business owner also arrived to pick up his trailer and his Bobcat.
Palmer said homeowners in and around the wooded areas near Macomb were helping that business owner get his Bobcat and trailer out of the woods.
Along with deputies, McLoud police, Absentee Shawnee tribal offices and Air One from Oklahoma City assisted in Monday’s manhunt.