Lori Fullbright, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma -- Sometimes, it doesn't seem like the good guys can win.
A 17-year-old Tulsa football player's cell phone was stolen from his locker. He thought it was gone forever, until it showed up in a NewsOn6.com story at a crime scene.
His mom called me for help getting it back. The answer I got is not what they wanted to hear.
They can't get the phone back because knowing something and proving it are two different things.
The 17-year-old worked all summer to earn the money to buy that phone. All he has to show for it now, is an expensive life lesson.
When Blake Perry wanted an iPhone-4, his folks said you have to earn it. It was a lesson to teach him nothing is life is free.
"He worked for me all summer in my school room and he paid for it by himself," said Victoria Perry, Blake's mom.
When it was stolen from his football locker during practice a couple of months ago, Blake reported it to his coach, who said he'd investigate, so he didn't file a police report.
"It got to us; we should look on the channel 6 web story. Two boys had been arrested for armed robbery and phones were recovered," Victoria said.
Deangelo Williams and Allen Johnson, both 16, were arrested after two teenagers in a park say the boys came up to them with a gun and demanded their cell phones.
Officers caught them minutes later, in a car with six teenage girls. They still had the gun, the victims' stolen cell phones and two other phones, one of them a white, iPhone 4.
"I see it, I'm like that's it," Victoria said.
She still has the box, serial number, and receipt for the phone. She figured it would be easy to have the phone returned, but when she called police and the DA, she was told nobody could help her.
Police gave the victims their phones back, but since they couldn't prove the other phones were stolen, the fourth amendment says, cops can't take it.
"If you're at the scene and we can't get into it and they're saying it's theirs and there's no way of proving otherwise, it stays with them," said Tulsa Police Sergeant Brandon Watkins.
"My son is going to be devastated," Victoria said.
Victoria says she won't make her son buy a new one after this, but she is fed up with those who take from others with no thought.
"I'm mad. I'm mad. My son works, do the right things, make good grades, play football and wrestle, and work hard all year to buy it. What does this teach?" She asked
Blake's phone was locked with a password, so officers at the scene couldn't get into it to prove ownership.
His mom is going to file a police report, so if the phone ends up at another crime scene, police will have a way to show it's stolen and can confiscate it.