November 8, 2012

Sheriff offers reward in speedy crime

The Express-Star

CHICKASHA — The Grady County Sheriff's Department is offering a $250 reward for any information that leads to the arrest of Jay A. Keith, an armed robbery suspect.

In what started out as a routine visit to the doctor and then to the pharmacy, recent victims of multiple crimes were left lying in a ditch.

According to Sheriff's reports from Oct. 7, one victim was giving a ride to another victim's doctor’s appointment and then to the pharmacy. While on route to their home, the driver said "I think the cops are following us, and were about to get pulled over."

The incident occurred one and a half miles south on CS 2960. It was stated that a black Tahoe and a Lexus followed the victim for several miles. The black SUV then ran them off the road and pulled in front of them, while the Lexus remained behind. The victim states that one white male jumped out of a Tahoe holding a gun and ordering her out of the vehicle. A second suspect jumped out of the Lexus and ordered the other victim out of the vehicle at gun point as well. The second suspect demanded the victim turn over his pills and money while ordering him face down in the ditch.

The suspect took $540 from his wallet, then threw it in the ditch, took his cell phone, his prescription medications that included Lortabs, zanex, somas, and stomach medication. As the suspects fled the scene, the Lexus backed into the SUV causing the rear bumper to fall off in the road.

Investigator Justin Talbert was called in to the scene for processing.

The victim later contacted the Sheriff's Department stating when he went back to his Doctor's office, he heard of another patient being robbed in a similar way.

Gipson contacted the possible new victim and confirmed that a upon leaving a pharmacy near Cattlemen’s Steak House in Oklahoma City, a white male with a similar description to one of the suspects ran up to her, hitting her in the ear. The attack caused the victims ear drum to rupture. He then stole her purse and then ran away down an alley where he jumped into a black Tahoe.

The Oklahoma City Police Department was contacted but had nothing concrete that could link the two crimes together, though Sheriff Art Kell says there are too many similarities.

With a little detective work, Deputy Gipson was able to track down the owner of the Lexus. She cleaned off the bumper and ran the VIN number. It came back registered to a 1995 Lexus and a different owner. Gipson went to the residence and the owner said it had been traded in to a car dealership. The dealership then referred Gipson to another person who was allegedly staying at a local motel off I-44. That person referred Gipson to a "repo" facility.

Gipson contacted the facility and confirmed that the Lexus was in their possession and confirmed it was missing the rear bumper. The worker informed Gipson that the suspect had called and was on their way down to retrieve some items from the vehicle, stating "he said his buddy left his billfold in the car and needed to get some other items from it." Gipson was able to process the vehicle and confirmed that Keith was the owner of the Lexus at the time of the incident. She found a separate woman’s wallet and credit cards, pay stubs from an Applebee's, cards with Keith's name on it, and the names of bail bonds men. The worker confirmed when Keith returned with a "heavy-set blonde haired women" to clean out the Lexus, they arrived in a dark Tahoe retrieving an ice chest out of the back seat, a plastic bag with papers, and tools from the trunk.

Gipson was then able to call suspect Jay Keith's phone per the District Attorney’s office.  Gipson reports she called and got a voice mail saying "This is Jay, leave a message."

Gipson also contacted a witness that drove by at the time of the second incident off the side of the roadway. The witness stated he observed a white male holding a 9mm Glock to the passenger of the vehicle and ordered him on to his belly in the ditch.  The suspect standing next to the Tahoe said to the witness, "Police Department" and then flagged him on.

Keith later returned Gipson's call asking what this was about. Gipson stated it was in reference to an accident were he lost his bumper when he had the Lexus, before it was repoed. He then said he would call back.

Gipson obtained a photo of Jay A. Keith from a prior arrest and presented it to the victims of the robbery. Both identified Keith as the one who ordered them out of the vehicle at gunpoint and demanded money and their prescription drugs. The witness also pointed out Keith in a photo lineup as being the man he saw holding a gun pulling the victims from the vehicle.

Sheriff Art Kell said, "It is apparent this was a planned crime and a very bad one at that. I hope we can bring these guys in soon before they commit another violent crime in the area. That is why we issued the reward for his arrest."

Kell said another possible suspect in the investigation was recently arrested on murder charges in another county, but could not confirm if they are related.

Keith is said to be approximately six foot tall, thin in build, and has a shaved head.