Police Arrest Smash-And-Grab Suspects

Saturday, February 2nd 2008, 6:26 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsa police hope they have put an end to a string of cell phone store burglaries.  Since October, 30 stores have been hit.  The News On 6's Chris Wright reports the Tulsa Police Department arrested four people early Saturday morning after they say the burglars got greedy, and hit one store too many.

The first burglary happened at the AT&T store near East 41st Street.  They then moved on to another AT&T outlet near 14th and Lewis.

Police say the method of operation in both burglaries was the same.

"They smash the window and the door, they smash the locks off the cabinet while the alarm is going off, grab as many cell phones as they can, and then they run out," said Tulsa Police Sergeant Greg Matthews.

And the burglars didn't stop at two stores.

Police staked out a T-Mobile near 19th and Yale, and going on a witness's tip, they pulled over a Jeep Commander.

Tommy Hunt, Jonathan Newman, Keith Crenshaw and Tiffany Pullen, all between 18 and 20-years-old, were arrested.

Police believe they may have been breaking into cell phone stores for months.

"So we have been going back, checking those reports, looking for similarities, and we found quite a few similarities, so hopefully this will slow down those burglaries," said Sergeant Matthews.

Sergeant Matthews says cell phone stores are an attractive target for tech-savvy thieves because they are easy to get, and easy to get rid of.        

"You can probably trade those for drugs, trade them for money, and then whoever gets them can say that they bought it off the internet or bought it from a friend," said Sergeant Matthews.

Police say they have surveillance video from some of the 30 cell phone store robberies since October.  They plan on analyzing the video to see if they can recognize any of these four suspects.