Tulsa Tattoo Artist Says Burglars Stole His Livelihood
TULSA, Oklahoma - We've heard about Tulsa's record-setting murder rate this year, but robberies and burglaries are trending up too.
One of the latest break-ins took place at a tattoo parlor in the Pearl District.
The owners said they had bars on the windows and didn’t think anyone would try to break in, but, while out of town for Christmas this weekend, they became victims of one of the more than 5,000 burglaries this year.
The owners of the Anchor and Rose Tattoo Company said someone broke in through the back of the store by taking out the air conditioning unit to get in.
Now, co-owner Marceau Hicks is without thousands of dollars’ worth of tattoo machines and ink.
"What I use to provide for my family is gone," he said.
The burglars also made off with several bags of hand warmers, wet wipes and other items that his customers donated to be sent to troops overseas - a donation meant a discount on a tattoo.
Hicks said, "They do that for our freedom - I'm willing to do $350 worth of work for $100 if it gives our troops something."
Tulsa police said the number of burglaries has already passed 5,000 this year, that's on track to slightly pass last year's totals.
But, Officer Demita Kinard said it is robberies - thefts with use of fear or force - that are really on the increase.
"We look at the increase and say 'what can we do better,'" she said.
The number of robberies this year is on track to be higher than in the past five years, so police are putting in extra work.
Kinard said, "Even the robbery detectives were working over the holiday - the chief went in with the robbery detectives and they were out during surveillance and such because it is a serious problem right now."
But Hicks said no matter what the crime statistics are he wants to stay in Tulsa.
"Been coast to coast tattooing throughout my career and I just really loved it here, and this is where I wanna stay and I'm not gonna let this get to me," he said.
Hicks has already ordered replacement equipment and hopes to be back in business in a few days.
He’s also checking with other businesses in the Pearl District to see if anyone has surveillance video.