Rash of armed robberies in Tulsa ends with six arrests

Thursday, December 23rd 2004, 5:58 am
By: News On 6

Police have up to six suspects in custody for Wednesday's string of armed robberies in Tulsa.

Officers say they stopped the suspects' car because it matched a description in one of the robberies. That's when the suspects ran off. Tulsa Police caught them after a helicopter search. Officers found alcohol and a weapon in a car.

News on 6 reporter Heather Lewin has more on the crime spree from a carjacking to a purse snatching.

The first of several calls came within a matter of minutes when a gunman in a black hooded sweatshirt and ski mask walked into a north Tulsa mini-mart, demanded the cash from the register then took off, jumping the fence and disappearing through the neighborhood.

At about the same time on the other side of the city, a holiday shopper near 41st and Yale had her purse ripped from her arm in a mall parking lot. Victim: “This guy came up in between two cars, said 'excuse me' and I looked at him and he just started to grab my purse." Bag in hand, the robber actually ran through a fast food restaurant. Tulsa Police suspect there was a getaway car on the other side.

The busy shopping season gives robbers a lot more opportunities to strike. Police say be conscious of how to avoid becoming a victim. Tulsa Police officer Dwight Cole: “They can be more aware of their surroundings, look who's around when they're walking to their car, when they're leaving the mall in the parking lots." It's a good idea to have your keys out and ready to go, so you're not forced to look down and dig in your purse. Police say before approaching the vehicle, look and see who's around it. If someone's coming toward you, or making you feel uneasy, go back inside a store until its safe.

As officers searched for the purse snatcher, the third robbery victim within that same 15 minutes was a man walking down the street near 61st and King when police say a car pulled up. Four men jumped out, surrounded the man and demanded his wallet.

Tulsa Police say they believe all of the suspects were armed. It's not clear whether any weapons were involved in the carjacking; the man pulled from the truck was not injured.

Tulsa Police are now on the lookout for a 2000 white Dodge Pickup with North Carolina plates.