Tulsa police are cracking down on a growing number of burglaries at Tulsa homes and businesses. The News On 6's Ashli Sims reports they've assigned a special task force to put the burglars behind bars and protect your property.
Tulsa's top cop says burglaries spiked by about 600 cases last year. Now the TPD is trying to stem the tide by rounding up burglary suspects.
Officer Dianna Liedorff is spending a lot of her time lately patrolling hotel parking lots. It's a prime location for thieves targeting parked cars. She's part of a team of officers who are acting as burglary detectives: eyes and ears on the ground.
"Really kinda hone us in on individuals or locations that are being targeted and then maybe we can catch somebody in the act," said Tulsa Police Officer Dianna Liedorff.
TPD is using the same team of officers who cracked down on violent crime last summer to bust burglars.
"We want to make people feel safe, not only on the street, but also on their homes. And the business owners to feel safe that once they lock their doors at night; they can open up in the morning and it will look just the same," said Tulsa Police Chief Ron Palmer.
Instead of just catching the crooks after they've struck, a team of several dozen officers will focus on surveillance and prevention.
"Make life miserable for them to try to get them to choose another profession," said Deputy Police Chief Mark McCrory.
TPD says the burglary task force has been in business for less than two weeks and they've already put 36 burglary suspects behind bars.
Investigators say a neighbor saw Marvin Padgett and a 17 year old stealing a flat screen television from a house.
The taskforce went to work, spotting the suspects' car nearby and making the arrest.
"So out of that one citizen calling saying this is what I'm seeing, we ended up with drug arrests, burglary arrests and the recovery of stolen property," said Deputy Police Chief Dennis Larsen.
Officer Liedorff says thieves should be on notice.
"I mean they're damaging people's lives so to put one of those guys in prison that's really doing something good," said Tulsa Police Officer Dianna Liedorff.
Tulsa's police chief says they're using existing resources to crack down on burglaries. And, it hasn't affected their ability to answer daily calls. They will review the program in 30 days to see if it will continue.
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