Tulsa Crime Victim Calls For Tougher Penalties For Repeat Criminals

Monday, February 14th 2011, 6:14 pm
By: News On 6

Lori Fullbright, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- A Tulsa business owner is fed up with the revolving door of repeat criminals.  He'd like to see some help from the State Legislature.

Tulsa County pawn owner Kelly Knowlton is doing everything he can to keep criminals out.

Barriers stop them from driving into the store. He has video surveillance, alarms with backups and steel bars on the doors, but when a criminal is determined, they'll find a way.

"They took the steel bar off, took crowbars and pried the doors open, the alarm went off. They ran in, took some rifles. Some handguns are in locked cases, they smashed the cases, grabbed some guns, took jewelry and anything else," Kelly said.

The crime happened February 9, 2011.

Kelly believes the third time was the charm. He says in December, police spotted three guys trying to knock a hole in the back of the store, by the gun display, but the suspects got away.

Then, February 7, 2011, cops again spotted three guys doing the same thing.  That night, they caught one, Cedric Wells, Junior. He bonded out and within hours, the actual break-in happened.

"Bonded out the same night, that same night I have video of the guys coming in the store," Kelly said. "It's hard to tell its Cedric, but I believe it's the same group of guys who had tried the two other times."

Kelly learned Cedric is currently serving a three-year deferred sentence for receiving stolen property. Kelly doesn't understand why, after his arrest, Cedric was allowed to bond out at all.

"He should stay in jail, his parole or deferred sentence should be revoked and he should be sent to prison," he said.

Kelly understands a judge must decide if Cedric's arrest violates his sentence, but he doesn't understand why Cedric gets to go free during that process. He thinks our laws and jail time should both be tougher.

"Jail time used to be carrying around a ball and chain and busting rocks in the heat," he said. "Now, it's watching color TV in the air conditioning, eating three meals a day."

Kelly says it seems this happens way too often and he hopes state legislators will change the laws so repeat criminals stop getting out so easily and quickly.

Cedric has not yet been charged for the attempted break-in and no one was arrested for the actual break-in.