Tulsa Sees Rash Of Bank Robberies

Tuesday, February 3rd 2009, 5:08 pm
By: News On 6

By Jeffrey Smith, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Tulsa Police detectives have been dealing with a spike in bank robberies.  When you break down the numbers, Tulsa is averaging a bank robbery once every three days.        

Tulsa Police have devoted three detectives to solving this year's bank robberies, but they say the motivation for the crime spree is easy to explain and it's not the economy.

"If you come into a bank with a gun, you're going to probably immediately gain some money from that," said Tulsa Police Detective Dave Walker.

Detective Dave Walker knows the numbers are scary.  He says many of the robberies are copy-cat crimes and he doesn't think the economic recession is causing the spike.

"The people that we have arrested are not laid off plant workers. They're not laid off from a job somewhere, saying I need to feed my family. These people are pain-in-the-butt criminals," said Tulsa Police Detective Dave Walker.

There have been 10 bank robberies this year.  That's more than The News on 6 covered for all of 2008.  So far, Tulsa Police have made one arrest.

They say Christopher Rodman is responsible for two bank heists on January 8th.

"I guess it appalls me a little bit that more banks don't consider locking doors and taking additional precautions," said Summit Bank President Mark Poole.

Summit Bank President Mark Poole says keeping the front door locked is the biggest deterrent around.  But, he says many Tulsa banks deliberately avoid doing it.

"Most banks use the excuse that it's inconvenient to their clients. I would disagree completely with that. I think clients appreciate safety and security," said Summit Bank President Mark Poole.  "Most of the studies show you the selection of the locations is fairly random. If the door is locked, I think it certainly can be a deterrent."

Until the crimes are solved, police say they will not rest.

"We take it seriously. And, we're going to stay after you and until we find out who you are," said Tulsa Police Detective Dave Walker.