Tulsa police say criminals are using the homeless to do their dirty work. "We have seen a pretty ongoing trend of people stealing checks from the mail and making new checks and then having homeless people pass the checks for them," said Detective Darin Shipley.
Police say criminals are recruiting the homeless right off the street, and they're dressing them up in suits and other clothing so they look the part. "As a minister, I'm absolutely sure there's a special place in hell for a person who does that," Rev. Steve Whitaker told Tulsa's Channel 8. Pastor Steve Whitaker of the John 3:16 Mission says the homeless are hungry and some will do anything for food or a few bucks if it means getting shelter for the night or clean clothes. Those who fall for it, land in jail, while the person who put them up to it gets away with it. "Wow. That really upsets me . I hope our criminal system is savvy enough that they will look pass the circumstances and go after the real bad guy, not some homeless person that was duped," he said. Whitaker says he wishes police would send them to John 3:16 or any of the other places in town that will help them find food, shelter, and hope. "I've seen so many people that had it so wrong, get it completely right," he explained.
Police say often times the homeless who have been caught with bogus checks won't give up the person who gave it to them.