Repeat Burglary Suspect Frustrates Tulsa Business Owners

Friday, September 21st 2018, 6:36 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsa police arrested a burglary suspect for the third time this week.

Business owners, police officers, and district attorneys said they're frustrated by repeat offenders, but they can't do anything about it, because of the current law.

Police officers and district attorneys say when these repeat offenders keep striking over and over, don't blame them, they're only as good as the law. 

They say when citizens approved 780 last year, it simply tied their hands.

Police said a video shows Justin Rennick stealing from the Gypsy coffee shop downtown.

9/21/2018 Related Story: Man Arrested In Connection With Tulsa Coffee Shop Burglary

This is his third arrest in the past few months.

First, it was stealing from the Brady Theater. He pleaded guilty and got no prison time.

Then, it was stealing tools from a construction site. Another guilty plea and another sentence of no prison.

"It's really frustrating," said Majestic manager Chris Shoaf. 

Chris manages the Majestic bar downtown and is a huge fan of criminal justice reform. He believes help is key for the mentally ill and addicted, but also believes habitual offenders needs to be addressed.

"The problem is, when you have scenarios like this playing out, it makes those same people a little bit more apt to say, if this is what criminal justice reform looks like, it this really what we want," said Shoaf. 

Cops and DA's say state question 780 made all property crimes under a thousand dollars a misdemeanor, with no limit to the number of arrests. 
They predicted before the law passed we'd see some of these issues.

"Police officers and district attorneys and courts can only do what the law allows, and the public may want to take a look at 780 and see if it's everything they thought it would be," said Tulsa County DA Steve Kunzweiler. 

Downtown Tulsa has 100 cameras, which they hope is a deterrent because they say theft is a huge cost for small businesses.

Police and DA's hope as they see more and more of these cases, they hope the state legislature will take a look at making some changes to 780.