Tulsa Police Believe Suspects Involved In Multiple Burglaries

Wednesday, June 17th 2009, 11:03 am
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Tulsa Police arrested a pair of suspected serial burglars on Wednesday morning, after spending months on their trail.  Police say they can tie the suspects to at least eight break-ins all over Tulsa and all at businesses at night, and caught on surveillance tape.

The burglars had a simple technique:  smash the windows, grab a TV and go.  Police detectives noticed similarities in dozens of burglaries and believe they're all the work of two men:  Antonio Sells and Bennie Denson.

"These are some pretty active serial burglars that we've had targeting businesses busting out front doors, front windows, going in and stealing flat screen televisions, computer monitors, occasionally cash," said Tulsa Police Sgt. Brandon Watkins.

The suspects face a burglary charge for stealing a flat panel television from a dentist office.  A surveillance camera overhead helped police connect the suspects to other burglaries.

Now, Tulsa Police believe the pair might be connected to burglaries at 20-30 businesses.  Both have a prior record.  Antonio Sells has convictions for burglary, shoplifting and eluding an officer.  Bennie Denson was convicted of burglary.

Both now face new charges for burglaries at Baker Hughes, a Subway restaurant, the Nara Café, Dr. William Letcher's dental office, the Transport Workers Union Hall and Airco.

It was a surveillance tape from Airco that helped police identify the truck the suspects were driving.     

The business was hit early Wednesday in what police say was another crime of opportunity.

"One thing we noticed when driving by all these businesses that were hit in the past was that all these places had wide open windows where you could see a flat panel on the wall, so it was basically an advertisement for these guys," said Tulsa Police Sgt. Brandon Watkins.

Tulsa Police had been tracking leads for months, including checking video from Asbury Methodist Church of a break in where Sells and Denson are the suspects, but haven't yet been charged.  Someone broke through the glass on the church youth center and ran out with two televisions.

With Denson and Sells behind bars, police believe a huge crime spree will stop.