Authorities are looking for suspects in a series of East Tulsa burglaries

Wednesday, October 10th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Business owners, listen up, groups of thieves are hauling off merchandise by the truckloads. They've been stealing furniture, bedding and electronic equipment from model manufactured homes in East Tulsa.

As News on Six crime reporter Lori Fullbright tells us, the burglars even have the nerve to hit some of the same businesses two and three times. A 2,400 square foot manufactured home is furnished in hopes of enticing future buyers, but the business has taken a real hit in the past two months, not because of slow sales but because of fast crooks. Rick Vaughan, General Manager for Oakcreek Homes, "Most of our homes have two living rooms, so they took both couches, both love seats, end tables lamps, some of our bedrooms have queen size beds, triple dressers with mirrors, they unloaded it all."

In fact, the first time, the burglars made off with $10,000 worth of furniture, then they came back and took $5,000 more. And, Oakcreek is not alone; at least 7 similar businesses have been under attack from nighttime burglars since August. Tulsa Police Sgt Mark Sherwood, Burglary Division: "You would think the items taken are for a specific reason, but, they're not showing up in pawn shops or black markets so we don't know where they're going right now."

Freedom Homes, just down the street also got hit twice in the past month. Once while a security guard was on duty. Mark Curtsinger, General Manger for Freedom Homes: "The manufactured home business is tough already and then to have stuff torn up and it's not just a matter of fixing a few doors, it's a long process to get these houses back in tip-top shape." The lots are so big, up to five acres, they're nearly impossible to guard. So, many of the businesses are putting alarms in every home, installing lasers around the perimeter or even putting in decoy electronic equipment. "I don't know how to win, tell me how to win, tell me how to beat em and I'll try it."

Unfortunately, at least for now, the criminals are stealing their way to victory. Here's how you can help, most of these businesses are on East Admiral... a well-traveled street. If you see headlights or flashlights or people on the lots during the nighttime hours, immediately call Tulsa Police.