Tulsa Woman Says Social Media Helped Catch Grandparents' Attacker

Wednesday, October 2nd 2013, 10:33 pm
By: News On 6

Broken Arrow Police spent more than 24 hours searching for a man who held an elderly couple at knifepoint.

Investigators said, once they caught him, they learned he was also connected to another crime in Tulsa.

Now, Michael Lank sits behind bars at the Tulsa County jail and relatives say the elderly couple is still shaken up and scared from the attack.

The Indian Springs subdivision in southern Broken Arrow is a peaceful, quiet place where a lot of retired couples live. But on Tuesday afternoon, that sense of security was rattled for one elderly couple.

Adam and Beki Akins said their 84-year-old grandfather and 83-year-old grandmother were attacked by a masked man.

"How someone could do such a heinous crime and attack them like he did and push my grandmother down. It just infuriates me," said Adam.

10/2/2013 Related Story: Man Arrested For Robbing, Assaulting Elderly Couple In BA Home Invasion

"He physically assaulted him and verbally assaulted him. My grandfather won't even tell us verbally what he was saying, because it was so horrific," Beki said.

The elderly man was home alone, because his wife had just left for the store. The garage door was up and the home was unlocked.

"He led him with a knife to his throat, ransacking everything, every drawer, every closet. The house was just turned upside down, literally," Beki said.

When the woman finally returned home, her husband yelled for her to leave and call 911.

"She made it to the garage before he caught her and threw her down and stole her jewelry that she had on, her purse with her cell phone, keys, checks, cash, credit cards, my grandfather's medicine," Beki said.

The victims' granddaughter immediately took to Facebook, posting a description of her grandparents' attacker. Her post was shared nearly 9,000 times.

"A guy private messaged me and said, 'I think I know who did it,'" Beki said.

That tip ultimately led police to a house near 46th and Memorial in Tulsa, where Michael Lank was arrested. Police say Lank was wanted for breaking into another house last week, stealing jewelry and trying to pawn it.

"It's amazing how social media has kind of helped in this investigation," Adam said. "It's really given me a sense of community and faith and family and that's something I'm very grateful for."

Adam and Beki said their grandparents have some bruises, but are doing okay.

Broken Arrow Police expect Lank to be charged with first degree robbery.