A couple has been arrested for allegedly robbing a truck driver after luring him out of an Oklahoma casino, police say.
The robbery happened over the weekend near Miami, Oklahoma, said Drug Task Force Director Mike Eason on Sunday, August 21st.
According to Four States Homepage News, the truck driver told Denton Ward, a Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force and Bureau of Indian Affairs agent, that a woman approached him inside of Buffalo Run Casino and asked for a lighter. For reasons that are not clear, the driver then walked the woman to his semi truck and let her inside of his cab, where she requested $20. The driver then handed over $20, the woman left, and he went to sleep.
Some time later, the driver says he was woken up by a knock on his passenger door. The driver opened the door to find the woman, later identified as Karla Lassen, standing outside. Lassen then reportedly forced her way inside of the truck and was followed by Kalen McRay who was holding what the truck driver described as a “machine gun.”
McRay stood at the door while Lassen collected the victim’s belongings, and the two then fled the scene. After the incident, the trucker says he discovered an unfamiliar cell phone and a pair of women’s underwear inside of his truck cab, and contacted police.
Lassen and McRay were caught on surveillance video getting out of a car and approaching the semi truck, giving police enough evidence to search for the vehicle. Several hours later, officers located the vehicle driven by the owner, who was unaware of and uninvolved in the robbery. The driver was not arrested, but authorities seized a semi-automatic DPMS AR-style rifle, methamphetamine and a cell phone with a missing SIM card from the trunk of the car.
“The follow-up investigation led the officers to the Grove area and with the assistance of the Grove Police Department, the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol the suspects were taken into custody without incident at the Grove Best Western Motel,” said Eason.
In the motel room, officer seized a destroyed cell phone, multiple backpacks, a ghillie suit, multiple magazines for an AR-style rifle, and ammunition for a variety of different guns.
McRay and Lessen and being held in the Ottawa County Jail for first-degree robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree, assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Lassen is also facing possession of a firearm after a former felony conviction.
Both Lassen and McRay have a history of crime. Lassen served five months in the Kansas Department of Corrections on burglary convictions back in 2019, and has faced legal trouble in California for child cruelty and drug violations. McRay has previously served 22 months in the Kansas Department of Corrections for burglary, evading a roadblock and vehicle moving violations.