Neighbors blame new state law for offenders burglarizing homes
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) —
Neighbors in the Mayo Meadow neighborhood are fighting off burglars who they say keep coming back.
A new law may be keeping them out of jail.
"In the past year and a half, it has been complete chaos," neighbor Jeanine Edwards said.
About six months ago, Edwards almost became a burglary victim.
"We got a knock on the door about 4:30 in the morning," Edwards said.
It was police. Someone caught several people trying to steal from her El Camino.
"They had all four tires off of this El Camino in the trunk of the car," Edwards said.
One of those people was Isaac Franklin. He was arrested this week on multiple burglary charges in the Mayo Meadow neighborhood dating back to October, but court records show he's been in trouble before.
"It just makes you sick," Edwards said. "To think that somebody is going to sit there and violate your property and steal your property, that is wrong."
Neighbors here want to know why repeat offenders are still free.
Prosecutors like Erik Grayless blame some of that on a new law.
"I think it has really tied our hands that we don't have the range of punishment and the taboo of having those crimes be a felony," Grayless said.
State Question 780 reclassified certain drug and theft crimes as misdemeanors, meaning the punishment is less severe.
"Someone can be caught five separate times with possession of a controlled and dangerous substance and every time it is a misdemeanor," Grayless said.
Sending repeat offenders back to the streets.
"There's got to be a point where you protect the community more than what could become of the offender," neighbor Jeremy Carroll said. "This kid is an example of the system not working."
Neighbors are calling their representative hoping to make a change in the system.
For now, they are keeping their things locked up tight.