FOX23 Investigates an unexpected thief in a Sperry neighborhood

SPERRY, Okla. — There is a thief in a Sperry neighborhood, and people who live there were stumped about who was stealing their stuff.

FOX23′s Janna Clark went to Sperry. Upon arrival, Janna and the neighbors got a surprise. Their neighborhood villain was not who they expected. Residents called the area a quiet refuge.

Janna described the neighborhood as having hilly terrain and trees. People who live in those homes are nestled around Skiatook Lake.

“It’s a wonderful place,” said local resident Les Dickson. “Greatest neighborhood I’ve ever lived in in my entire life.”

He continued, “Within six months, we knew everybody here.”

But Dickson said something strange started happening. Things disappeared right off people’s porches. Men in the neighborhood chatted about it in their group text thread.

“One night, we got a text from one of the gentlemen down closer to the marina, and that his shoes were disappearing,” Dickson recalled.

Dickson said he and his neighbors were puzzled as to why someone would steal used shoes off of a front porch.

Before long, Dickson and his neighbors were obsessed with locating their neighborhood’s porch pirate.

“They’re always talking about their shoes getting taken off their back porches,” said neighbor Malachi Millard.

Another resident, Mike Brown agreed, “Pillows and stuff get drug off, and things keep getting drug off.”

At first, the men blamed the neighbor’s pet.

“A yellow lab,” Millard said. “I think she probably got a bad rap because everybody thought she was taking all the shoes.”

But after the lab passed away, things kept disappearing.

“So I think that dog was getting falsely accused,” Millard continued.

They started looking around, and one resident noticed a fox asleep on his back porch.

“And there was a section of the crawlspace of his house that had been pushed aside. And guess what was inside? [The shoe],” Dickson said.

He continued, “So everyone started suspecting the fox.”

Neighbors used cameras to try to capture video evidence of the clever bandit.

“We checked the cameras, and it’s always the foxes up there,” Brown said. “They little thieves.”

Once the fox was found out, it gave up trying to be so sly.

“Then the fox joined the neighborhood,” Dickson said. “He’s not sneaky anymore. Everybody has seen the fox.”

Brown agreed, “We see him almost everyday.”

So Janna got this trail camera and put it on a nearby try to get video of the foxes. Sure enough, the camera captured video of one fox hanging out in the middle of the night.

“They’re always perfectly manicured,” Millard said. “They look like they just came out of the dog groomer. Fluffy and perfect all the time.”

“They’re just as cute as they can be,” Dickson said. “And they stay in the neighborhood.”

Dickson explained that he’s seen the foxes sleeping on patio furniture with cushions in the neighborhood.

Janna said it’s obvious the men are smitten with the foxes, and they talked about them like proud adoptive fathers.

“They’re absolutely beautiful,” Dickson said. “I think they stay in the neighborhood because they feel safe.”