(DOC file photo)
By Patti Weaver
(Stillwater, Okla.) — Arrest warrants have been issued for an ex-convict from Depew and his girlfriend, who have been accused of stealing 40 sheets of galvanized metal roofing valued at $5,000 from property on Mt. Vernon Road in rural Cushing.
Due to his criminal record, Ryan Thomas Haskins, 32, who was already on probation for possessing a stolen truck and trailer in Creek County, could be given a prison term ranging from four years to life if convicted of grand larceny in Payne County.
His girlfriend, Melinda Long, 34, of Depew, could be given up to five years in prison if convicted of grand larceny in Payne County, according to her felony charge filed last week.
In an affidavit for the couple’s arrests, Payne County Sheriff’s Investigator Brandon Myers said that he was contacted at 6:41 pm on Aug. 19 by a rural Cushing man who said someone was on his property.
“I had previously worked on a case of a stolen trailer from the same property for (the owner). Since the theft of the trailer, he installed a cellular game camera at the entrance of his property for security,” the investigator wrote in his affidavit.
The owner “sent me pictures and videos of a white Chevrolet pickup truck pulling a trailer entering his property through a gate that (the owner) told me was closed and locked,” the investigator wrote in his affidavit.
“Deputies entered the property and found Ryan Haskins and his girlfriend, Melinda Long. They had loaded up 40 sheets of galvanized metal roofing. The sheets were 20 feet in length. Deputies photographed the truck and trailer and made Ryan and Melinda unload the metal.
“Ryan and Melinda told deputies that they had found the metal roofing for sale on Facebook (by a man with a different name). They agreed to purchase the metal from (that man) and met him at the entrance to the property.
“Ryan Haskins or Melinda Long could not provide us with the post of the items for sale. They said he was driving a black Cadillac Escalade. Ryan Haskins sent me a screenshot of a mobile purchase they made to (that man) through CashApp later that night. The purchase showed an amount of five hundred dollars,” the investigator alleged in his affidavit.
The cellular number that Haskins provided for that man was not a working phone number, the affidavit alleged. The investigator wrote in his affidavit, “I checked the CashApp handle, which was recently created (August 2022).”
“The videos/photographs show that the gate was secured before Ryan Haskins and Melinda Long’s arrival at the property. There was no video of (that man) or his black Cadillac Escalade. The video shows a pipe wrench on the ground on the side of the gate where the lock was located and defeated.
“The lock had markings consistent with a pipe wrench used to defeat it. Once the truck entered the property, the gate was closed, and a photograph showed Melinda Long walking away from the entrance into the property. Furthermore, the location of the metal roofing stored on the property is down a windy road over 4/10th of a mile from the gate’s entrance,” the affidavit alleged.
When the investigator checked law enforcement databases and social media for the name of the man that the couple gave, he could not locate anyone by that name from this area, according to his affidavit. The investigator could not find a Cadillac Escalade owned by that man on Oklahoma Vehicle Registration Databases, his affidavit said.
The property owner said “the metal roofing material is a heavier gauge that what is currently manufactured and sold. He estimated the value of the metal roofing at $5,000,” the affidavit said.
“In totality, Ryan Haskins and Melinda Long came to (the owner’s) property. They broke the lock on the gate with a pipe wrench, opened the gate, drove onto the property, and then re-secured the gate. They traveled down a long driveway where they found and loaded forty 20-foot sheets of galvanized metal roofing worth at least $5,000.
“They were caught in the act by the (owner) and deputies. They created a fictitious story of a Facebook ad posted by (a man) selling the metal roofing, could not provide the post, provided (the man’s) phone number that is not in service, and provided a screenshot of them paying an easily faked CashApp account $500 for metal roofing valued 10 times more than what they allegedly paid,” the affidavit alleged.
“Ryan Haskins is a known thief. He has a criminal history in Payne and Creek Counties,” the investigator alleged in his affidavit.
According to Creek County records, Haskins had been convicted of possessing a stolen Ford F250 truck on June 15, 2021, that had been taken from a Broken Arrow man on March 10, 2021, and a stolen 2010 black 18-foot utility trailer on Sept. 25, 2021, that had been taken from a Glenpool man. For those crimes, Haskins was placed on four years’ probation on Feb. 9, 2022, with an order to pay $2,620 restitution for the trailer and $4,558 restitution for the truck.
Haskins had also previously convicted in Creek County of second-degree burglary in 2017, for which in 2019 he was placed on seven years’ probation with Drug Court, but that sentence was revoked in 2020 to three years in prison of which he served 10 months, state Department of Corrections records show.
Haskins had been convicted in 2011 of possessing methamphetamine and marijuana in Cushing in 2010, as well as the same drugs on another occasion in 2010 and methamphetamine manufacturing in 2010 for which he was given three concurrent seven-year prison terms of which he served about half, Payne County court records show.
Haskins had also been convicted in 2011 in Creek County of cultivating a drug in Shamrock in 2009 for which he was given a concurrent four-year prison term and served about two and one-half years.