A north Tulsa community is reacting to a deadly home invasion by joining together to keep criminals out of their neighborhood and all of Tulsa.
“The point is, it's crime, and it's time it stops,” said Charles Wheeler as he address his neighbors, some meeting for the first time. “It's stops with you, with me.”
In March, Wheeler’s neighbors, Bob and Nancy Strait, were brutally attacked and left for dead in their home. Mrs. Strait died from her injuries the next day. The neighbors created an alert neighborhood program and had the first organized meeting on Saturday afternoon with Tulsa government officials and Tulsa police officers who are familiar with the north Tulsa area.
“I just felt so helpless I guess that I couldn't do anything for the Straits,” said neighbor Diane Johnson.
“It sounds like this is just for my neighborhood but it's not,” said Wheeler. “This is for all of Tulsa. We are all susceptible to crime.”
“People are afraid to come, and step up and speak out, these people after this has happened with the strait's, because who knows who is going to be next?”
The goal of the meeting is to teach neighbors how to be a responsible part of the neighborhood alert program by learning what to look for and how to report it.
Tulsa police shared their information about what information they need from an alert neighbor whenever someone sees something suspicious.
Neighbors were handed cards with blank lines for descriptions of suspects and vehicle information.
"We are not asking anybody to carry, guns, carry a bats, chase down, approach any kind of crime activity at all,” said Wheeler.
Wheeler was referring to the black eye that sits on “neighborhood watch” programs after the Trayvon Martin case in Florida.
“We want people to arm themselves with knowledge, a cell phone and a concerned heart for Tulsa citizens,” said Wheeler.
Wheeler and Johnson were given permission from the Strait family to name the program after Nancy Strait. They are raising money to buy signs through the city to establish an Alert Neighborhood.