Tulsa Police: Dozens Of Abandoned Cars Broken Into During Blizzard

Tuesday, February 15th 2011, 5:34 pm
By: News On 6

Lori Fullbright, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- The recent blizzard may have stopped traffic, school and most businesses, but it certainly did not stop car burglars.

Lots of drivers got stuck in the snow and had to abandon their vehicles for a day or two. A lot of those folks got a rude surprise when they went back to dig out their cars.

68 abandoned cars were broken into between January 31st and February 11th, during the snow storms. It seems nobody was spared, not even the cops.

Stuck vehicles were a very common sight during our recent snowstorms. Lots of people slid into snow too deep or couldn't move forward through the piles of snow and others had car trouble.

In one case, a couple had a dead battery and a flat tire and had to leave their just bought groceries in the Jeep in the snow.

"Someone had gotten groceries and couldn't' get out and someone stole their groceries and their personal items," said Tulsa Police Cpl. Gene Watkins.

Not only was their food gone, but those personal items included a wallet with social security cards, insurance cards and a driver's license.

Low sitting police cars had a lot of trouble getting around in the record snowfall along with everyone else. Many of them had to be abandoned for a short time as well.

An eastside officer had to abandon his car in the snow on a ramp to 169. Someone broke the window, stole the radar, a ticket book, then cut the mic cord and tried to steal the police radio, but didn't get it.

"Goes to show people take advantage of any opportunity they can. They take advantage of people because that's the way they've always been," Watkins said.

We found a Frito Lay truck stuck in the snow just west of downtown Tulsa, and it had been jacked as well. The back doors broken open, some boxes removed and chips scattered around on the ground.

Police say when you can, protect your belongings.

"People still leave their doors unlocked on their vehicles, keep firearms in their vehicles, checkbooks, credit cards, things of that nature that really need to come inside," Watkins said.

Whether it's a storm, a break down or you're parked in your driveway, don't leave anything inside your vehicle.

Many victims say fixing the damage is often more expensive than replacing their stolen goods.

02/08/2011 Related Story: Abandoned Cars Could Be Costly For Tulsa-Area Drivers