Tulsa Police Helicopter Captures Chase, Arrest Of Burglary Suspect

Wednesday, January 12th 2011, 9:13 am
By: News On 6

NewsOn6.com & Lori Fullbright, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Tulsa's police helicopter was up Tuesday night when a burglary suspect ran from officers, blowing through stoplights at 80 miles per hour.

The chopper has a camera on it that shows heat from tires, engines, and human bodies, so it was able to track the suspect, which allowed officers on the ground to pull back from the pursuit, hoping the guy would slow down and be safer, but he was still racing around and right at innocent drivers.

Police say they got a tip that a burglary suspect, who has felony warrants out for his arrest, would be driving a stolen car in the area of 41st and Sheridan. Sure enough, they spotted him and they say he took off.

"Right through the red light at Lewis, westbound," a voice in the chopper said.

Officers estimate the driver was going more than 80 miles per hour, so decided it would be safer for innocent drivers for them to pull back and let the chopper track him.

"Westbound from Utica on 41st, ran that light also," the voice said.

You could tell he was flying by how fast he was making the mile marks and how his tires were glowing white hot on the video.

"Westbound from Peoria, ran the red light," the chopper pilot said.

He turned south on Riverside, but seeing other drivers on the road in front of him didn't phase him a bit.

"Coming up on traffic, weaving through it, still southbound," a voice from the chopper said.

He then went east on the service road next to I-44 and decided to dart into a parking lot of an apartment complex and pull into a parking spot and jump out, thinking he was hidden.

But the camera saw him easily. He even stopped to fix his shoe, and then took off again.

He ran past an empty police car and darted into a doorway, but it didn't take long to get the word that they had gotten him.

Officers arrested Michael Wallace. He has a long history of convictions for stolen cars, burglary and drugs. Now, he faces a whole new laundry list of crimes.

Police say it is cases just like this one that make them so glad to have the chopper back in operation after it was taken out during the economic crunch.

They say an ex-con is behind bars, nobody is hurt and none of it would've been possible without their eyes in the sky.