Tulsa Police Chief: Finding Attacker Like Looking For 'Needle In Haystack'
TULSA, Oklahoma - The Tulsa Police Chief held a news conference Monday afternoon as his department searches for a man who's assaulted at least eight women since June 5, 2014.
Chief Chuck Jordan said police are completely committed to catching the man responsible for the attacks. He also released new information on just how the attacker is getting into homes - using unlocked doors and windows, or screens that are easily cut without making much noise.
Detectives believe the attacker is new to the area, possibly just out of prison, because they don't believe he just suddenly started targeting women.
Jordan says the department is not withholding any information about the case that would jeopardize anyone's safety. He said the department is keeping some information secret, but it's only information that's key to the investigation.
The chief said every case has some common factors - a woman alone at home, and officers don't believe the women are followed home. He said detectives believe the man is looking in to make sure women are alone, then going around to the back of the homes in the dark to get inside.
"Lock your doors, and your chances of being a victim become much, much less," he said. "Give anybody that's got something bad in mind a hard time seeing you."
Jordan thanked members of the public for their tips. The department has received more than 100 so far.
"I want to thank the victims of these crimes as well," he said. "I can't imagine the courage it takes to come forward and be questioned about these events in the detail that we have to question them."
Jordan said they have never arrested a serial criminal in a week or two and compared the search to "looking for a needle in a haystack, and it's a moving needle."
"We want to catch him before there's another one. I think we have a good chance of doing that," he said.
Jordan says the man likely has a history of sexual crimes. "This is somebody who's done this before," he said.
After the seventh attack, police released a sketch that one victim said resembles the suspect. Jordan warned that other descriptions have varied.
"It's very good, but this is not necessarily a white male," he said. "We haven't been able to determine that."
Police say the latest assault took place in the 1200 block of South 75th East Avenue Sunday morning. They say the victim who is in her 60s was home alone when the assault occurred at about 5:30 a.m.
The department has set up a task force to identify and arrest the man responsible. Jordan also announced that a mobile command post will be set up Tuesday - most likely at the Tulsa County Fairgrounds.
Here's a list of the dates and locations of the attacks:
- June 29, 2014 - 11th and Memorial
- June 27, 2014 - 4th And Pittsburg
- June 20, 2014 – 45th Place and Peoria
- June 19, 2014 – 11th and Yale
- June 11, 2014 – 15th and Denver
- June 9, 2014 – 42nd and Detroit
- June 6, 2014 - 71st and Yale
- June 5, 2014 - 45th Place and Peoria