Tulsa's crime numbers are out

Thursday, June 27th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

As if the economy isn't enough to worry about, we now learn Tulsa crime is on the rise. But, don't let the crime stats fool you into thinking things are worse than they actually are.

News on Six crime reporter Lori Fullbright explains how to sort through all the numbers. The numbers mean, there's no cause for alarm.

The Tulsa Police department's annual report just came out and it lists all the crimes that happened in the city last year and where. Two things you basically need to know. First, crime is up. Second, it's not up because of life and death crimes like murder and rape, but because of things like bicycle theft and purse snatchings.

Anthonii Miller lives in the one of the highest crime areas of the city if you look at people crimes and property crimes together, the 61st and Peoria area, but you can't tell that by his experiences.

"For the most part, I feel pretty safe. I feel the cops are going a good job and the neighbors look out for each other a little bit." And, that's a world of difference from just a few years ago, when shootings, robberies and drug deals were commonplace.

The city has done much to demolish, old, rundown apartment buildings and replace them with neat, well-built homes and, even though there's work to be done, it is getting better. "The neighborhood is looking better than it did and that helps with crime because people don't want to see their stuff destroyed anymore."

The main reason behind Tulsa's 8% increase in crime, is theft in areas where you can find lots of people on any given day. For instance, the six areas of Tulsa with the most property crimes last year are near Woodland Hills Mall, Eastland Mall, Promenade Mall, the Wal-Mart Supercenter at 44 and Memorial and the one at 81st and South Lewis, as well as the 61st and Peoria neighborhood. Tulsa Police Sgt Wayne Allen, "They are not rapes or even robberies, they are purse snatchings and the theft of items left in unattended vehicles."

In fact, thefts of bicycles, lawn mowers and purses jumped 11% last year, the more violent crimes, like murder, rape and robbery, stayed pretty even. So, what this means, is we need to take better care of our property, keep our garage doors down, lock our cars and put away our bicycles. And, women, this especially applies to you.

Because the biggest jump in larcenies happened in office buildings, up by nearly 30%. Where women go to work, leave their purse sitting out and a thief comes by and snatches it, that's an easy crime to prevent and saves people plenty of headache.