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TV Viewers Help Tulsa Police Identify Burglary Suspects

New developments in the break-in of a Tulsa clothing store.

Tulsa Police say moments after the story appeared on the News on 6 and last week, their phones were ringing off the hook. Viewers helped officers identify seven teenagers in the surveillance video.

News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright looks at what happens next.

Barry Wright opened a clothing store at Pine and Peoria three months ago. One of his investments was a high-tech security system and it has already paid off. It took incredible pictures of teenagers breaking into his store at 4 AM. They swarm the store grabbing shoes and clothing, their faces clearly identifiable.

Once the News on 6 aired these pictures, viewers called police and Barry. "I really appreciate everybody who helped out, saw the videotape. These kids live in their neighborhoods, terrorize their neighborhoods, stealing cars, they're fed up with it." Tulsa Police say the public's help was key in identifying the seven juveniles, ranging in age from 11 to 17. But what really made this easy, was the incredible quality of the video.

Tulsa Police Sgt. Greg Matthews: "A lot of them don't have video at all. Some have video which is poor quality, it's black and white and fuzzy and you can't see faces, see vehicles."

Police turned over the names to juvenile court. We'll never learn what happens, because juvenile records are sealed. They might get sent home, get probation or go to juvenile detention.

Barry Wright has a suggestion. "I think they need to be put to work. I'm not an advocate of jailing children, putting them behind bars. That won't do anything but make them a worse criminal. Put them to work, cutting grass in their community, picking up trash, painting houses."

Barry says parents should be teaching their kids that hard work is the path to success, not this. He also believes parents need to know where their kids are at 4 in the morning.
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