The ice storm has brought out the worst in some people. Tulsa police say while calls for service are down dramatically, the number of break-ins is up. The News On 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright reports extra officers are on patrol, looking for burglars who are taking advantage of empty homes and stores without alarm systems.
Tulsa police made 41 arrests Tuesday night, 14 of those were burglars. They have twice the number of officers as usual on patrol right now and they have no tolerance for people taking advantage of those who are powerless. One sight rarely seen by Tulsa citizens is the homicide squad in police uniforms, getting ready to go out on patrol.
They work their murder cases during the day, and then go out at night, to help patrol officers crack down on thieves. Detective Eddie Majors, who usually works cold cases, helped arrest three burglary suspects Tuesday night.
"You fall right back into it. I helps to have the support of officers there you know. They like to catch bad guys as well, so it makes it fun," said Tulsa Police Detective Eddie Majors.
Some of the burglars Detective Majors caught had two ficus trees and a trophy from Rent-A-Center in the back of their car. Other stores have also been the victims of smash and grab crimes. That's why Tulsa Police Chief Ron Palmer asked detectives and administrative officers to hit the streets.
"Tonight, we will put out at least the same number of officers as last night, 120 some. They're directed to handle calls for service and be proactive, patrolling neighborhoods that are still dark," said Chief Ron Palmer.
If citizens have ever wondered where all the city and county leaders go during a time of crisis, it is the Emergency Operations Center and it is in the basement of the police headquarters building. Dozens of agencies can talk face to face, so they know what's going on, where and when.
One side room allows folks from all the hospitals and EMSA to work side by side, so they have early warning of any casualties. Every type of emergency communication equipment you can imagine is there, from as basic as ham radios, to as sophisticated as satellite telephones.
There's a state law that says anyone caught stealing or destroying property during a state of emergency, can get additional prison time of two to 10 years. Plus, 16 year olds can be prosecuted as adults.
If you have questions about how to best secure your house or business during this time, you can call the three police divisions.
Tulsa Police Uniform Division North (918) 591-4100
Tulsa Police Uniform Division East (918) 669-6000
Tulsa Police Uniform Division Southwest (918) 596-1100