Thieves Con Elderly Victims in East Tulsa

Tuesday, September 21st 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Some thieves are striking East Tulsa and targeting the elderly. The seniors say the crooks are nice looking and slick talking. One of the victims talked to the News on Six, and to protect his identity, he will only be named in this story as "Al".

When a man showed up at Al's house talking about his roof and acting like a dear old friend, he thought nothing of it. "He left the impression he'd been with group who did work on the house here for us," said Al. The man said he wanted to make sure they were happy with the work that had been done. "He suddenly said, 'Can I use your bathroom? Just take a minute.' I thought, what's wrong here? But he was out of sight down the hall." Instead of going to the bathroom, the man went across the hall and emptied Al's wallet.

Police say this man has used the same story and pulled the same scheme on two other senior citizens. They say the guy who does the talking is white, clean cut and well dressed. He's 5' 10" and weighs between 145 and 165 pounds and has dark brown hair. He sometimes has an accomplice who pretends to be an employee who is Hispanic, between 5' 3" and 5' 5", weighing between 120 and 130 pounds. He is sloppy in appearance with wavy, collar-length black hair. They drive a white pickup with a camper shell or a white, four-door car.

"When you get as old as we are, you're not as alert about those things. It's easier to victimize old people than it is young people, I think," said Al. Many of the victims blamed themselves for being too naive, too trusting. One said, "I can't believe I was so dumb to let this happen," said Tulsa police detective Randy Tuttle. "But it's not their fault. These guys are good. They're cons. They're used to overcoming objection. I feel for them, not just for the money loss, but for the fact a criminal has been in their house," he continued.

Al says that will never happen to him again. No one is getting into his house that he can't personally identify