Tulsa Police Arrest Serial Burglary Suspect In 'Cavern' - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Tulsa Police Arrest Serial Burglary Suspect In 'Cavern' Under I-44

Posted: Updated:
Police arresting the man. Police arresting the man.
Looking down into the crevice leading to the cavern on I-44 Looking down into the crevice leading to the cavern on I-44
Booking photo of James Alexander. Booking photo of James Alexander.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Police arrested a man believed responsible for numerous east Tulsa business burglaries and discovered a hidden "cavern" under Interstate 44 in the process.

Police were investigating the latest burglary report when they chased James Michael Alexander, 27,  across I-44 at Garnett Road about 7 a.m. on Thursday.

Officers said Alexander suddenly disappeared into a crevice between the eastbound and westbound lanes of I-44.

The crew that built the highway constructed the cavern as part of the project and left it behind, never imagining that someone would try to live there.

Tulsa police officer Robin Mendenhall was the only officer small enough to fit into the crevice, so she went down into the hole with a flashlight, cuffed Alexander and the Tulsa Fire Department then pulled him out.  

Officers said Alexander had just broken into the Subway in the 1100 block of South Garnett when the foot chase began. They believe Thursday's break-in was the fifth incident involving Alexander, who they are calling the "barefoot bandit."

Police said they found food in the cavern that had been taken during the recent break-ins and believe Alexander had been living there.

Tulsa Police believe Alexander is the man who threw a rock at the front window of the Warehouse Market in the 1300 block of South Garnett earlier this week.

8/6/2013 Related Story: Police Suspect Transient Behind East Tulsa Business Burglaries

After Tulsa firefighters hosed Alexander off and EMSA paramedics checked him out, police officers took him to jail.

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