|Updated: 3/14/2013 9:20 am
||Published: 3/13/2013 3:11 pm
QuikTrip is warning to panhandlers to quit targeting their customers or they'll have to deal with police.
“You tell them to leave and then they ignore you,” said QuikTrip Spokesperson Mike Thornbrugh.
New signs posted at QuikTrip are a warning to anyone loitering outside a QuikTrip, but the primary concern is about panhandlers begging for money, making customers and employees feel unsafe.
Panhandlers who avoid the signs will hear from the law.
"Well, you are going to go to jail. That's what we are going to do about it,” said Thornbrugh.
FOX23 News checked jail records and found Theodore Zakaryan is locked up for aggressive begging in Tulsa County.
"I've been approached a couple of times,” said QuikTrip customer Bob Sherman.
In 2011, a Tulsa panhandler stabbed a QuikTrip customer who refused to give him money.
Customers say panhandlers distract them with elaborate stories about why they need money.
"They have all kinds of scams,” says Thornbrugh.
If panhandlers ignore the signs, QT says employees will take action.
"They see us with red shirts on, or a QT badge they take off now, they know it's coming, the heat is on them,” said Thornbrugh.
Under the Tulsa municipal Code, Title 27, Chapter 14, Section 1407, aggressive begging carries a $200 fine and in most cases more serious charges are added causing jail time.