Police looking for active burglary suspect

Tuesday, May 1st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A local burglar is working overtime in Tulsa. Tulsa Police believe one man has broken into 18 homes just in April, 50 homes since January. All in the same neighborhood, all between eight and ten in the evening, all with a knock and then a kick.

KOTV's Lori Fullbright explains what's going on and how you can stay safe. Here is how it works, the burglar knocks on the front door, if he doesn’t hear an answer, and he kicks it in. Twice, this burglar has gotten inside only to find a homeowner, that's why it's so dangerous to pretend you're not home when someone knocks. Brenda was in her back bedroom Friday night, watching TV when she heard noise at the front door. "Heard a loud thud, next one was louder and the third one, I could tell the door was off and they were in the house." She heard a man's voice say someone's home, let's get out of here and after a minute, carefully went to check. "I looked in here to see and in this room and then I could see the door was busted up."

Knock and kicks are common, someone knocks, listens, if they don't hear anything, they force the door in, in this case, the bad guy hasn't stolen any big items like TV's or computers, he's mostly gone after jewelry. Tulsa Police officer Lucky Lamons, "Jewelry and handgun, front door kicked, jewelry, front door, jewelry, front door kicked, jewelry, jewelry, jewelry." Detectives say this burglar has been working the area between 21st and 41st streets, Riverside Drive to Harvard, and he's been busy, nearly 50 burglaries since January with 4 over the weekend. He targets homes that are dark with no cars in the driveway. Lamons, "Get light out front, if gone, put a car in front of the house and turn on lights, he's hitting houses that aren't lit." If you're home when someone comes in, the safest thing to do is grab and phone and get out. "Run to a neighbor's, make noise and turn on lights, but, be sure to get out of the house."

Neighbors walking their dog or working in the yard in the evenings need to lookout for anyone who doesn't belong in the neighborhood or someone who is driving slowly, looking at houses. If that happens, call 911. Brenda has since installed an alarm system, but the fear is still there. "I thought they're going to kill me, rape me, it's a total invasion of privacy. If someone does knock, don't open it, but do make sure they know someone is home. Another trick is for them to say, "Is Mike there?" They're not looking for a person, but an empty house, so call police if that happens, too.

Another trend is once they break in, they steal checks from the middle of your checkbook, by the time you notice they're missing, they've already written thousands of dollars worth of checks on your account, so don't keep your checks somewhere easy to find.