Tulsa Police Issue Warning About Burglars Breaking Into Occupied Homes
TULSA, Oklahoma - Brazen burglars are hitting houses just south of Tulsa's Utica Square. They are getting into homes at night, while the homeowners are asleep.
It's happened four times in the past month between 21st and 31st streets, and between Utica to Delaware.
You are completely vulnerable when you're sound asleep, and Tulsa Police fear these cases are just one step away from a rape or murder.
The burglars are trying doors until they find an open one, usually a back sliding glass door which in all four cases, the homeowners left unlocked.
"They might lock their front door but backdoors they leave unlocked," Tulsa Police Corporal Gene Watkins. "They enter the back door and remove purses, billfolds, even TVs from houses while people are sleeping."
The men immediately go to a store and buy hundreds of dollars in gift cards or merchandise with the stolen credit cards.
Surveillance pictures show the men using the stolen cards.
"At three in the morning, they'll spend $800 on gift cards on your account," Watkins said.
None of the victims knew they'd been hit until they woke up the next morning. Police say these men won't stop until they're caught and they could easily turn violent.
Police say no matter what part of town you live in; lock your doors, front and back.
They say the next best thing to do is tell your neighbors when something like this happens, so they can be alert and better protect themselves.
"I know sometimes people get embarrassed because they left their door unlocked or don't want people to know they were a victim of crime," Watkins said. "But these criminals continue to breed because people don't want to let anybody know they made a mistake."
In addition to locking your doors and windows and adding motion lights outside, put your purse or wallet in a safe place before you go to bed.