Suspects In Armed Robberies Being Sought

Tuesday, October 2nd 2007, 6:20 am
By: News On 6

Tulsa Police detectives are investigating at least five new armed robberies in the city over the past 24 hours. Four of the robberies were in parking lots. One targeted a couple walking their dog early Tuesday morning and another victim was pistol whipped late Monday night. This adds up to nearly two dozen parking lot robberies in the past two months.

News On 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright analyzes this trend and reports before August 1st, robberies were down 10% in Tulsa. Since then, robberies have been booming.

One trend Tulsa Police are seeing is these robberies are happening more and more to average citizens like you and I; no longer are they people who owe each other money or between drug dealers.

“Locked my door, always try to because I'm always thinking I'm going to get hijacked by a gun and guess what, it happened to me,” says robbery victim Chris Fawcett.

Fawcett was sitting in his car, sending a text message when a couple of guys with guns tried to rob him.

"They were like get on the ground. Better shoot me now, yelling, can't believe it's happening, didn't do anything to you guys don’t' know why it's happening, just yelling, hoping someone wakes up in the neighborhood,” says Chris Fawcett.

Detectives recently looked at the two dozen parking lot robberies and half dozen home invasions to see how many robbers are working. They narrowed it down to three groups of robbers involving about 12 suspects, all hitting at once, which is why the city of Tulsa is having this spike in crime.

“We are seeing an increase in just random street violence," says Tulsa Police Sgt. Dave Walker.

The parking lot crimes started first and Tulsa Police think the home invasions were a spin-off as the robbers decided to up the ante. The current robbers are generally younger, meaner and less educated, which is a bad combination.

Tulsa Police say the trend of robbing average citizens makes no sense because the money they usually get is small, but the prison sentences are big. Three robbers recently got life terms.

"I think we have to get the message to parents, people who care about these kids. You want to go away 15-20 years? Because we're not going away and the public isn't going away and they're getting tired of it, that's why we're seeing these types of sentences," says Tulsa Police Sgt. Dave Walker.

If someone robs you, the most important thing you can do is keep your wits enough to get a good description of the suspect so police can catch them. Every year, Tulsa has a spike in robberies; usually it's before the winter holidays. Last year it was in January. Tulsa Police detectives hope this spike is over soon and it will be smooth sailing until the end of the year.

If you know anything about any of these robberies, call Crimestoppers at 596-COPS. You do not have to leave your name and you could earn a cash reward.

Lori Fullbright has many more safety tips that anyone can take advantage of, click here to find out more.

Related stories:

9/24/2007 - Armed Robberies Investigated

9/25/2007 - Rash Of Robberies May Be Connected, Police Say

9/26/2007 - Overnight Home Invasion Suspects Sought