Tulsa business gets hit hard by burglary

Tuesday, September 2nd 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A paint store burglary in Tulsa. Detectives say its one in a dozen similar break-ins in the past year. These aren't your usual smash and grab thieves, they knew what they were looking for and spent plenty of time doing it.

News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright says the burglars backed their vehicle right up to the back entrance of the Spectrum Paint store at 4621 East Admiral Boulevard and had a hey-day.

They cut the outside phone lines, jimmied up the door, tore out the alarm system, and then, helped themselves. Travis Detter, Co-Owner: "In our warehouse, we have new equipment in boxes, they unstrapped them, opened the boxes and took them, probably so they could fit more of our equipment in." They took eight brand new Graco airless sprayers, plus spray guns and a number of Purdy paintbrushes.

They cut seven locks to get into more secured cabinets; they took cash from the office and seemed to know what they wanted. When the burglars smashed the windows and took what they wanted, the store put up bars.

When the crooks got smarter and ran their car through the windows, they put up poles. Now, with this latest break-in, they've had to put in an updated, high-tech security system. All that costs money and along with the $25,000 worth of inventory that was stolen, it's hard on a business trying to get by in these tough times.

Travis Detter: "It's extremely frustrated. Because this past year hasn't been a good economy and something like this just makes it tough." This is the first time in 7 years this store has been hit and in Spectrum's 17 years of doing business with a number of stores across the state, this is by far, the worst hit they've ever received.

Spectrum employees handed out a flyer to other paint stores in Tulsa and even across the state in case someone tries to sell the stolen merchandise. Even if they don't get their stuff back, they hope the flyer will warn others to beef up security.

Spectrum also added a $3,000 reward to the Crimestoppers $1,000, so anyone with information can call 596-COPS. And, of course, the person who calls in, doesn't have to give a name, will not be asked to testify.