Looking For Some Speciality Auto Parts Thieves

Tuesday, December 5th 2006, 10:16 am
By: News On 6

A Tulsa auto parts store owner had more than $10,000 worth of specialty parts stolen recently. It happened just as he was in the process of adding a metal fence with razor wire on top, because of previous thefts.

News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright explains how you can help crack the case.

The Tulsa store handles parts for classic muscle cars. It's hidden away in east Tulsa, doesn't even have a sign on the front door, yet, someone found it and made off with a large haul.

The Phillips family has been in the auto parts business in Tulsa for decades. Many things have changed along the way, including having to deal with an increasing number of criminals.

In the past, they've taken wheels and fenders and were caught selling them for scrap weight. Steve Phillips: "We ended up prosecuting him and that deal was done and that's when I started putting up the fence and razor wire and all that, to protect that part, and while it was in the process, is when the shop got broke into."

This time, they cut the phone line to disable the alarm and came inside and helped themselves to thousands of dollars worth of tools and parts, including some original, unique pieces. "Mainly these 11 restored tilt columns for GTO, Chevelles, early Camaros and Firebirds, similar to this, all rebuilt, new switches, ready to go."

Steve Phillips also lost a couple of unique car parts that are for classic muscle cars. He hopes everyone will take a good look at the parts and the tilt columns and know they're stolen, if someone tries to sell them on the streets. "That's why I wanted you to come out, so we can catch and prosecute em. I'm sure I wasn't their first and I doubt I'll be their last."

Steve says stealing such unique and specialized items may work against these guys as they try to unload them.

He plans to offer $500 of his own money in addition to the Crimestoppers reward. They'll pay up to a thousand dollars for anyone who calls 596-COPS with information that helps Tulsa Police make an arrest in this case.

In the meantime, Steve will finish the razor wire fence and has upgraded his alarm system.