Tulsa Police on the lookout for a cola crook

Friday, May 10th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Tulsa Police burglary detectives are looking for a cola crook. They say he's gone into four Tulsa High Schools in the past month and taken money out of the soda machine, in front of lots of witnesses.

As News on Six crime reporter Lori Fullbright explains, the man dresses for the part. The man targets only Pepsi machines. He's hit this one at Webster High in West Tulsa, twice in the past few weeks. He actually wears a Pepsi uniform and even has a key to the machine, so, he doesn't try to hide or be shy.

Tulsa Police Sgt. Mark Sherwood, Burglary: "According to several witnesses, he walks in, keys the machine, gets the money and has a conversation with people and even hands out free soft drinks on occasion." Detectives believe the man may be an ex-employee of Pepsi because of the uniform and the specially made key.

Even though this isn't the crime of the century, detectives say this man is walking away with more than just spare change. "It's not just coins now, but, dollar bills and he's getting a thousand bucks sometimes. We're getting concerned because the key could fit several machines around town." In fact it fits all the machines in one district, which means 100's of potential targets.

Witnesses say the man is white, 5-feet-11 inches tall with a medium build, wearing a Pepsi uniform. "We just need some help from the public if they know someone who's doing this or a friend or relative who can give us some information."

Schools also need to be on the look-out and check the credentials of anyone who shows up to pop open the pop machine. If you know who the cola crook is, you can call Crimestoppers at 596-COPS. You can be anonymous, and also earn a cash reward.