|Updated: 8/28/2012 10:30 am
||Published: 8/27/2012 9:26 pm
Tulsa Police Department is in damage control mode after officers arrested one of their own in an ongoing investigation.
Police are investigating more reports about TPD patrol officer Marvin Blades Junior targeting Hispanics.
TPD busted him early Saturday morning in a sting when he pulled over a driver who was an undercover drug agent and stole $600 from his wallet.
TPD Chief Chuck Jordan believes Blades acted alone. Now a media campaign has uncovered more potential victims.
Media blasts from Saturday’s news conference with Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan and TPD’s Hispanic Outreach Officer Jesse Guardiola on Spanish language radio and television stations.
Police are encouraging potential victims to come forward after Blades Jr. was arrested for targeting Hispanics in traffic stops.
“We want the Hispanic community to come out and report crime and not have fear reporting anything especially corruption,” said Guardiola.
At Teletul Media potential victims are calling into the radio station.
"In ten minutes we had three to five people calling saying 'this happened to me. What do I need to do?,'” said reporter Marcela Acero.
One man claimed Blades stole $500 from his wallet.
"They were happy because finally something is going to get done,” said Acero.
Teletul’s Facebook page is filled with similar stories.
"A lot of posts say ‘yes this happened to me.’ One person posted that this happened to her three times. The same policeman took money out of their wallet," said Acero.
Police said Blades Jr. would pull over Hispanic drivers. Tell them to leave their wallet in the car and step away from the vehicle.
Police said you are not required to leave your wallet in the car and police cannot search your car unless they have probable cause or you give them permission.
The arrest is disheartening to a department that is nationally recognized for Hispanic outreach.
"This is something that the Tulsa Police Department works aggressively to end,” said Guardiola.
Officers are encouraging anyone, no matter their legal status, to come forward.
If you or someone you know is a victim of the scheme call Tulsa Police at (918) 596-9137. Blades Jr. posted $25,000 bond and was released on Saturday.
He faces one charge involving the sting. Blades Jr. is scheduled to be in court on September 4th. The Chief said Blades Jr. has been with TPD on and off since 1997 and is on paid suspension.