Michael Tharp

Michael Tharp

UPDATE: Tharp pleaded guilt and received a three year deferred sentence. 

Photos from a game camera led to a positive identification of a suspect and an arrest, according to court documents.

Michael Tharp, 31, of Kiowa, was charged April 5 for burglary in the second degree, according to documents filed by the office of District 18 District Attorney Chuck Sullivan.

According to a probable cause affidavit prepared by Pittsburg County Sheriff Deputy John Young, the deputy was dispatched April 3 to a residence north of Pittsburg for a burglary call.

Young met with the victim and was told that someone broke into the victim’s shop and stole approximately 450 feet of copper wire, the affidavit states.

The victim told the deputy that he had game cameras setup and got some photos of a white man and a vehicle that appeared to be a Ford SUV, the affidavit states.

Photos from the game cameras showed the suspect and the rear of a Ford Escape with the temporary tag number visible, the affidavit states.

The deputy wrote in the affidavit that he was driving around the Pittsburg area and located the vehicle parked at a residence and it was occupied by two men – one being identified as Tharp – the affidavit states.

Young asked Tharp who owned the vehicle, to which he replied that it was his girlfriend’s and that he does drive the vehicle, the affidavit states.

According to the affidavit, Tharp was asked where the vehicle was on April 3 and told the deputy it was at “a friend’s.”

The deputy showed Tharp the photos from the game cameras and Tharp admitted to the deputy that it was him in the photos and that he did steal the copper wire from the shop before selling it to a local scrap yard, the affidavit states.

After agreeing to writing a statement for the deputy, Tharp was arrested for the initial complaint of second-degree burglary, the deputy wrote in the affidavit.

The affidavit states Young found a receipt from a local scrap yard while inventorying the vehicle before impounding. Tharp told the deputy that the receipt was from selling the stolen copper wire, according to the affidavit.

Contact Derrick James at djames@mcalesternews.com