By Conrad Dudderar
A convicted felon and his accomplice face a long prison stint for allegedly robbing a Yukon retailer and threatening to shoot a store employee.
Midwest City’s Matthew Ryan Bartee, 27, and Oklahoma City’s Nathaniel Hunter Zorn, 22, were both charged March 16 in Canadian County District Court with first-degree robbery and conspiracy.
Canadian County prosecutors filed the felony charges stemming from a Dec. 22, 2021, incident at Lowe’s Home Improvement, 1605 Garth Brooks Blvd. Yukon Police investigated the crimes.
Bartee and Zorn are accused of conspiring to steal nearly $2,000 worth of merchandise from the Lowe’s store.
The two defendants stole five rolls of electrical wiring as one of them threatened to shoot an employee “thereby putting her in fear of immediate serious bodily injury,” according to court documents.
The five, 250-foot rolls of electrical wire were valued at $1,990, a Yukon police report indicates.
Allegations against the defendants are detailed in an arrest warrant affidavit signed by Yukon Police Det. Dave Carroll.
Sgt. Todd Hawthorne was dispatched at 12:36 p.m. Dec. 28 to the Lowe’s store on a reported grand larceny that occurred six days earlier.
Police learned Bartee had gone to the electrical aisle and placed the rolls of electrical wire in a cart, which he left at the end of the aisle. His associate, Zorn, then left the store with the cart and didn’t attempt to pay for the merchandise.
While Zorn was walking out, a Lowe’s employee approached and asked to see a receipt.
He then “threatened to shoot the employee and left,” according to the affidavit.
The alleged victim told investigators she had asked the suspect for a receipt, but he told her to her to “move away” or he would shoot her.
She reportedly identified Zorn as the suspect who made the threat.
Conspiracy is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a maximum $5,000 fine. First-degree robbery is punishable by not less than 10 years in prison.
District Judge Jack D. McCurdy II has issued warrants for Bartee’s and Zorn’s arrests, setting bond at $20,000 combined on both counts.
NOT THEIR FIRST RODEO
Yukon Police learned Bartee and Zorn had stolen from other Lowe’s stores in Oklahoma City.
Bartee and Zorn were charged Jan. 20, 2022, with conjoint robbery in Oklahoma County District Court. The defendants were booked into the Oklahoma County Jail with bail set at $100,000.
A preliminary hearing conference in that case is set April 11 before Oklahoma County Judge Kathryn Savage.
Bartee and Zorn are no strangers to the criminal justice system in Oklahoma County.
Bartee has previous felony convictions for possession of controlled dangerous substances, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a stolen vehicle, felon in possession of a firearm, altering license plate/registration, and possession of stolen property.
Zorn has pending criminal charges for unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance, second-degree burglary, possession of burglary tools, and first-degree robbery.