Authorities still tracking robbery suspects who've been quite busy across NE Oklahoma

Wednesday, July 9th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Tracking robbers suspected in at least a dozen crimes in Green Country. News on 6 reporter Patrina Adger visited one of the robbery locations.

The first five incidents started in south Tulsa on May 5th. Then a week later, the bandits struck again, hitting three more places including a tobacco shop. One victim says something has to be done before someone else gets hurt.

Store clerk Jo Venable was working at the Tobacco Road Shop at 4908 West 51st Street, while the new shop down the road was being completed. When the old store was robbed two months ago, the owner closed it and moved everything over to the new shop before schedule.

Jo says a man dressed in black walked into the store on May 13th, with a Wal-Mart bag in one hand and a gun in the other. “I thought maybe I can make it to the door-he grabbed me by the hair and beat me up pretty bad." She says the man ran out of the store, got in a car and sped off. Customers coming into the store heard Jo's cries and tried to catch him. "That saved me. The customers pulling up."

Tulsa Police detective Bob Little believes these same bandits are responsible for at least a dozen robberies in northeast Oklahoma, including Tuesday's robbery at a credit union in Okmulgee. He says people who know the robbers need to come forward with information and be willing to testify in court. "These are violent crimes-stop before someone gets injured."

Tobacco Road's owner now takes extra precautions to make sure this doesn't happen again. There are bars on the windows and all the doors stay locked. There's 24 hour security and shattered proof-glass, to keep the bad guys out. Venable hopes these guys will get caught, before they hurt anyone else. "Try to be positive, can't let people ruin your life."

Call Crimestoppers at 596-COPS if you have any information on a crime. Remember you can remain anonymous, and if your tip leads to an arrest, you can earn a cash reward.