Police Working To Deal With Crime Spike

Monday, October 27th 2008, 5:47 pm
By: News On 6

By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Tulsa sees a recent spike in violent crime.  A man was shot and killed Friday night at an east Tulsa shopping center and a man was shot on Sunday at an east Tulsa apartment complex.  That man remains hospitalized.

The Tulsa Police Homicide Squad is keenly aware of the recent spike in crime and is working on it.  Squad members say the motives for the crimes:  drugs, gangs and robberies, make them tough to investigate.

"People involved in that lifestyle are the kind of people who don't like to talk to the police, don't want us in their business, are reluctant to talk," said Tulsa Police Sgt. Mike Huff.

Detectives do not believe the latest string of shootings is related, even though they seem to be happening close together and in east Tulsa.

"We battle with the fact people make the assumption all these things are related and one single group of people is going around shooting people, but that's not usually, hardly ever the case," said Tulsa Police Sgt. Mike Huff.

Working separate cases is tougher and more time consuming than working a cluster.

Tulsa has had 44 homicides so far this year and 71% of them are solved.  That can be compared to Oklahoma City which has seen 48 murders so far.  Only 58% of those cases are solved.

Tulsa's homicide unit recently created a booklet of all the unsolved murders for the past 10 years to give to officers in patrol cars.  The more people who have the information, the better chance of solving those cases.

They're also, as always, asking for the community's help.

"If they hear of something that's gonna happen.  We've even expanded our Crimestoppers program to include text messaging, all you need to do is send us a message anonymously," said Tulsa Police Sgt. Mike Huff.

Police say citizens withholding information on purpose could be taken before a grand jury and made to talk or face charges of obstructing justice.

The number for Crimestoppers is 596-COPS.  You can also text 918 and your crime tip to CRIMES, which is 274637.