A man who stands accused of going on a statewide crime spree has finally been captured by the authorities. Jerome Hopkins, the alleged perpetrator, is said to have broken into numerous businesses in at least six different cities spanning the length and breadth of Oklahoma and even crossed state lines. The detectives involved in the investigation are hailing their successful collaboration as the key to bringing Hopkins to justice.
In the words of Lt. Detective Vanessa Cole of the Elk City Police Department, “The way we were able to work with each other on this is is the only reason we found him.” Hopkins has been implicated in a string of burglaries, mostly targeting restaurants, with the Elk City police believing that the spree began in December of last year after local Mexican eateries were hit. According to Detective Cole, “The calls kept coming in and we had a total of five businesses that had been broken that night.”
Despite posting pictures of the suspect on social media, the authorities received no leads until officers in Kingston, Oklahoma, who had been working on a similar case, posted about a similar crime. Detective Cole said, “Boom, fit the description. So I contacted Kingston Police Department, said, ‘Hey, we might have something in common here.’ He used the same M.O. to get inside the building.” Hopkins, aged 33 and wearing a mask and gloves, was said to have smashed his way into the targeted establishments and crawled to the register or safe before leaving and hiding in his cargo van outside.
Detectives from the Fort Smith Police Department in Arkansas later tracked Hopkins by reviewing local businesses’ security cameras, leading them to a motel where they discovered that Hopkins had checked into room 211 under his own name. They subsequently issued an arrest warrant, and Oklahoma City Police tracked him down, noticing the same tattoo on his neck as shown in the earlier posted pictures.
Elk City Police Chief Eddie Holland believes that this successful operation could serve as an example to other law enforcement agencies looking to crack down on burglaries in their respective towns. Hopkins has a history of several burglaries, as per online court records.