South Tulsa neighbors frustrated by increase in crime

Neighbors living near 56th and Harvard are dealing with an uptick in crime. (KTUL)

Neighbors living near 56th and Harvard are dealing with an uptick in crime.

Stacey Zeilinger has three cameras mounted on the side of her house. In early November, one of the cameras captured a man going through her car.

Tulsa police said the man stole a gun and other items from her truck.

“I guess, I’m just afraid that it’s going to become more and more violent, and where does it end? That’s really my main concern,” said Zeilinger.

Since 2014, the number of crimes reported within a two-mile radius of the intersection at 56th and Harvard has gone up.

In 2014, there was an average of 100 crimes per month. In 2015, the average was up to 120.

So far this year, there has been an average of 132 crimes per month. Crimes reported to police include homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and auto theft.

“A few guys, they do it for a living. They do 12 to 16 a day, five to six days a week,” said Detective Brandon Bennett.

Bennett investigates auto burglaries. He’s currently investigating Zeilinger's case. He said he has dozens of serial car burglars, some of whom specifically target guns.

“The thing is, those guns have immediate street value, there’s no need to go to a pawn shop. They have immediate street value,” said Bennett.

Bennett said he’s seen an uptick in "car hopping," where burglars move from unlocked car to unlocked car.

“Last year, this time, there were three guys working these cases and now there’s one,” said Bennett.

He said he gets an average of 300 to 600 car burglaries a month, and while surveillance video helps, people need to come forward and identify the person in the video.

“We definitely have images of the face, that someone that knows him can definitely identify him. That’s what we need someone who knows him,” said Bennett, talking about Zeilinger’s case.

Zeilinger said she hopes neighbors will come together and keep an eye out for each other.

“Criminals will stop coming in and doing these things and recognize this neighborhood is not a target for us anymore because they wised up,” said Zeilinger.

Bennett said if any personal data is stolen from your car, head to this website for help. He also warned that police see an increase in car burglaries during the holidays.

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