Violent crime wave in Tulsa


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Updated: 3/19/2012 9:16 am Published: 3/16/2012 8:04 pm


The beating of an elderly couple that rocked Tulsa is being felt in the Tulsa Police Department.

"For us to know they could have got what they got without doing anything to them these people are lower than the average sub human that we deal with on a daily bases,” said TPD Homicide Sergeant Dave Walker.

On Thursday, detectives arrested Tyrone Woodfork, 19, in connection to the murder of 85-year-old Nancy Strait.

Homicide detectives worked through the night, investigating Mrs. Strait’s murder and her 90-year old husband Bob Strait’s attack.

He was beaten with a BB gun with a BB lodged in his face. Police believe there could be up to five suspects involved in the home invasion.

As much crime as you hear reported, the fact is that media only reports a small fraction of what law enforcement is dealing with on a daily basis.

However, that fraction can feel overwhelming.

"Bad things daily in this community, bad things happen in the best communities, Tulsa is still relatively a safe place to live,” said Walker.

The crimes reported in just the last two weeks have been all over Tulsa, many FOX23 News viewers say crime is getting worse and Tulsa is getting more dangerous.

However, that may not be the case.

First, on March 7th a man opened fire outside of the Tulsa County Courthouse and hit a deputy. In the crossfire a bystander was shot in the leg.

On March 9th, Avonna Olson, a veteran Tulsa Public Schools employee, was killed by a thief who ran her over as he sped off in her minivan.

On Monday, TPD Sex Crimes detectives arrested two suspected serial rapists.

Michael R. Harris, 46 arrested for preying on five women in parking lots and raping them.

Willis Sisco, 25, arrested for raping a 19-year-old girl in LaFortune Park and then a woman he was acquainted with in her apartment.

On Wednesday, elderly couple Nancy and Bob Strait were brutally attacked and robbed in their home.

Thursday, 41-year-old man Tony Ray Anderson of Broken Arrow was murdered in an East Tulsa apartment.

Thursday night, Mrs. Strait died from blunt force trauma to the head.

“I am going to tell you it was brutal and senseless and animalistic,” said Walker.

Mr. Strait is in serious condition.

"There are some people who do bad things and you can see a glimmer of hope, Mr. Woodfork has none of that. I don't care what he does in prison, or what God he finds or what rehab he goes through, nobody here sees any redeeming qualities in that individual. That is a sad thing to say for somebody so young,” said Walker.

Detectives believe Woodfork and at least four others beat the elderly couple for a flat-screen television, a couple hundred dollars, a BB gun and their Dodge Neon.

"This is lower than low and we are not done hunting for them,” said Walker.

Some Tulsans say it’s clear a number of kids are growing up surrounded by drugs and crime and violence.

"There needs to be a positive influence,” said childcare provider Lakesha Mayes.

However, as much as crime seems to be around you, the reality is that most neighbors most days are not filled with danger.

For the Williams they feel it’s safe enough for a stroll through the LaFortune Park.

"We've had a wonderful, wonderful day,” said Peggy Williams.

Her husband, George married her ten years ago when he was age 70.

"We've just had the best time of all,” said Mrs. Williams.

They’re fully aware of all the bad things that have happened but looking at the bigger picture they still believe they live in a safe community.

"Tulsa is the most beautiful city in the United States,” said Williams.

Tulsa Police report violent crime is down by 10% compared to this time last year.

COMPSTAT numbers show there were 4,589 total Part 1 Crimes (Homicide, robbery, rape, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and auto theft) reported from January 1st to March 16th in 2011. There were 459 fewer violent crimes reported in the same time period in 2012.

Rape was the only crime that increased from 45 to 58 in that same time period. However, the FBI updated its definition of Rape to what Oklahoma uses. TPD Sex Crimes Sergeant Mark Mears, said  while it appears there is a 22% increase in rape cases there was only an increase of one rape compared to this time last year. 

Sergeant Mears supports the change because the numbers are now being reported accurately.

The Strait family has set up a memorial fund at Arvest bank.


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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

DrJKH - 4/7/2012 3:51 PM
1 Vote
Tired: St Louis in the '80s and '90s wasn't NEARLY as dangerous as Tulsa is today. Get a clue. New York was the murder capital of the world back then, moron. And even if St Louis were, it STILL wasn't as dangerous THEN as Tulsa is NOW!

kindagreywolf - 3/22/2012 3:03 PM
0 Votes
Tired, Watchdog is CORRECT. Tulsa is VERY HIGH on the list. Last year almost all of Tulsa's news sites showed actually statistics where Tulsa ranked in the top 10. Crime in Tulsa isn't just in one section of the city but all over the place.

CindyLouWho - 3/19/2012 8:42 AM
0 Votes
The only reason I even feel remotely safe is because I am armed. 3 Months and counting til I can move out of this sh*thole and into a smaller city.

billw001 - 3/18/2012 6:58 PM
1 Vote
I feel safe knowing I have a shotgun, and happy to use it on any fool trying to enter my home. Always shoot first, ask questions later.

aa2zz - 3/18/2012 10:32 AM
0 Votes
Tulsa is no longer safe, period. For every crime reported there are dozens more not reported. You also soon find out it does no good to report a crime in the hopes that something will be done, because it won't! There is so much crime that is just not a priority to the police. The fact is, there is just more going on than the police can handle on any given day. There is no way to believe crime in this city is down.

Tired - 3/18/2012 7:18 AM
0 Votes
Tulsa is not one of the most dangerous cities at all. watchdog your source couldn't be more wrong. And St. louis in the late 80's and early 90's was the murder capital of the world only competing against New Orleans and LA. per capita tulsa is extremely safe and I live right in the middle of alot of the violence being neighbors to the elderly couple 6 doors and from the stabbing 2 weeks ago and 3 doors from the fella who was shot in the arm in the road rage all reported by fox and that isn't half the violent crime in the last month. Last night my next door neighbors started shooting at each other. Still tulsa is safer than LA, St.Louis, and New Orleans. I have lived in some of the worst neighborhoods in these cities and tulsa is a cake walk you should all feel blessed or just move and see for yourself.

watchdog11 - 3/17/2012 7:40 PM
1 Vote
Tulsa is very high on the list of most violent cities, and for its size and per capita population, it is atrocious and unthinkable. It is in no means safe, I have looked at the per capita crime rate for those cities, and we should be ashamed of ours, Houston is high mostly because it is gang central, last year we didn't do any better than OKC and they have almost twice our population, in fact, some types of crime we had more of, I agree with the .45 safety, I am protected by my friend the .357 she is just waiting for some punk to kick in the door, I don't care if they are 13 years old or 70, I plan to take them out before they get their first look at the inside of my home, I AIN'T playing.

golfguy - 3/17/2012 2:05 PM
1 Vote
BTW, I do feel safe here in Tulsa.....45 Auto safe!

DrJKH - 3/17/2012 2:04 PM
2 Votes
kk276: I grew up in St Louis in the 1980s. Tulsa is EXTREMELY unsafe compared to that.

golfguy - 3/17/2012 2:04 PM
2 Votes
Glad this punk is 19. Give him the needle tomorrow!
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