Tulsa Police looking for robbery suspect who's after ATM cards

Wednesday, February 6th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A serial robber is targeting women in Tulsa. And police are warning people to be on their guard.

As News on Six reporter Steve Berg explains, they say he acts like a nice guy, until it's too late. The thief has struck three times in January. All in apartment complexes. All female victims. And all at knife point.

Tulsa Police say the suspect typically asks for an ATM card and actually forced one victim to drive him to the ATM. Tulsa Police officer, Lucky Lamons, "Makes the withdrawal from the ATM machine, and then what he'll do is he'll tell them to stay in the car, he's got it rigged to where it'll blow up if they try to leave, and then he'll leave, and it looks like our last victim says he go into a Geo. A small Geo."

This photo was taken from an ATM surveillance camera. Unfortunately the quality is not good enough to make an ID. But what police do know is that in each case the suspect has used a nice-guy approach, at least at first. He pretends to be lost and ask for directions. Or he simply strikes up a conversation.

Police say one victim was approached when she was checking her mail. With so many apartment complexes having the mailboxes separate from the residence, they say that makes the victim even more vulnerable. Cassandra Tennyson, resident, "They're pretty close to the office, but if you go up there at night, it's not going to do you any good. It's not very well lighted, so if I check my mail, I do it during the day."

Tulsa Police say the best advice, really the only advice, is to be aware of your surroundings. But apartment dwellers say it's not always easy to know who belongs there and who doesn't. Berrin Thomas, resident, "I'm not used to talking to the neighbors or anything, because people come and go, they stay for two months or three months and they just leave."

The thief has targeted three different sides of town, so they say every neighborhood should be cautious until he's caught. The suspect is described as black male in his late 20's to early 30's. 6 feet tall and 170 pounds, with a thin face and unshaven.

If you have information about this man or the robberies, you can call Crimestoppers at 596-COPS. You can remain anonymous.