Lori Fullbright: File That Police Report!

News On 6 Anchor Lori Fullbright has decades of crime-reporting experience, and in this column, she's sharing one of her biggest tips: file that report!

Friday, May 17th 2024, 12:36 pm



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I am amazed at how many people I talk to who have had a strange, bizarre, or even criminal encounter and yet don’t call the police.

I’ve talked to plenty of women who see a man exposing himself in a parking lot, and they tell their family and friends about it but don’t file a report. They just don’t take it that seriously. I tell them they should because flashers often escalate to peeping toms who escalate to rapists.

Stopping them early would be a good thing.

I had a girl who was jogging, and a man pulled up next to her and started talking to her and wouldn’t leave. Eventually, she felt so uncomfortable that she took off jogging, then ran and ended up knocking on someone’s door for help, and once she felt safe, she didn’t report it.

Or a Realtor showing a house who had a very unsettling experience with someone or a person on a date who knew something was very off but just blocked the person and moved on.

After a home break-in in a neighborhood, lots of other neighbors will then report seeing suspicious cars or behaviors but don’t think it rose to the level of a police call.

My advice is to not be so reluctant to file a police report if you feel something is wrong or you’ve been a victim, no matter how “minor” it seems.

I’ve heard police officers repeatedly say they’d rather come out 99 times, and it be nothing than to come out one time and it be something terrible.

You will never know what your “little” phone call or online report could lead to.

That same type of person or same type of vehicle may show up in later reports and be enough for officers to determine a pattern that’s concerning.

Officers don’t just arrest someone on a tip; they have to investigate and find evidence, but they can talk to the person or do a field interview and get some basic information that could be used later when there is more reason to believe a crime has been committed.

That’s how Tulsa Police officers caught serial rapist Gary Graham several years ago.

They had been searching for months for him, but he always slipped out of the grasp.

They started going back through previous field interview notes and realized officers had stopped Graham for loitering around some neighborhoods late at night. It was nothing for an arrest at the time, but it certainly gave them something to look at in their search for a serial rapist, and that little tidbit led them to the kind of overwhelming evidence that eventually helped send Graham to prison for raping several victims, some of them, children.

Take the time to get involved, take the time to help prevent future victims, take the initiative, and file a police report. You never know what good it will do for someone down the line.

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