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Cash Register Crime Spree In Tulsa Ends With Arrest

Updated:
Tulsa Police find signs of cash in the trash - but the real find was a burglary suspect they've been investigating for a month. He was caught after detectives say they spotted him throwing away a cash register.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan explains.

A mini crime spree ended at dumpster, behind Phoenix Cleaners. Todd Robinson with Phoenix Cleaners: "I'm glad he's not going to be doing it to someone else, at least not for a while."

The latest two victims were the Custard Cabana and Asian Chef Delivery. The custard shop's door was smashed in. The owner says the cash drawer only had some change in it. A few doors down, the owner at Asian Chef got an early wake up call. Benjamin Eble with Asian Chef Delivery: "About 2 o’clock the police called and said I had an open window and I told them our windows don't open." The burglar took care of that by breaking an expensive glass door, but he didn't get much here either - just change.

It wasn't long before the registers showed up at a dumpster, where detectives were waiting.

The burglar always used the dumpster for the registers. Todd Robinson: "It happened every few days for a month and we just kept tabs on who was throwing away trash in our dumpster."

Each time the cleaners found a cash register they called it in. That's how this time when there was a break in – Tulsa Police knew to come to behind Phoenix Cleaners and wait for the criminal to come to them. Tulsa Police Sgt. Stephen Broyles: "and as luck would have it, they spotted him dumping a cash register and we stopped him nearby."

The cleaners had surveillance video of the suspect’s car over several Sunday nights, so police knew the routine.

They found the car and with a tire tool inside that could pry open a register. Tulsa Police arrested Michael Cooley - and believe with this one arrest - they might clear a dozen cases - all tied to one dumpster.
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