A fire at Express Personnel Services, 4900 S. Lewis Ave., was solved after an anonymous tip to
Crime Stoppers. Express Personnel paid the tipster a $10,000 reward for his help in the case.
BRANDI STAFFORD / Tulsa World
Below: A crucifix and other items stolen from a church were recovered in 48 hours, thanks to a Crime Stoppers tip.
DAVID CRENSHAW / Tulsa World
In 1999, the Crime Stoppers hot line, 596-COPS, received more than 3,900
calls that led to 180 solved cases and 103 arrests. Here are some of the high-profile
cases from last year:
Tip solves arson `whodunit'
An Oct. 11, 1998, fire at Express Personnel Services,
4900 S. Lewis Ave., was immediately deemed suspicious by arson investigators, but the
case went unsolved and was considered a "whodunit."
A Crime Stoppers tip and the help of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
Firearms eventually led Tulsa Fire Department investigators to two men.
Andrew Orville Draheim and Mike Nowling were indicted in U.S. District Court in March.
And in May, Express Personnel Services officials presented the Tulsa man who called
Crime Stoppers with a $10,000 reward for his help in the case.
Draheim and Nowling had given the man a television they had stolen from the
business and then bragged about the crime.
Draheim pleaded guilty May 17 to a charge of arson affecting interstate commerce,
admitting that he set the fire in an attempt to cover up evidence of a burglary.
Nowling pleaded guilty June 2 to misprision of a felony. Nowling said that although
he knew that Draheim -- his one-time roommate -- had started the blaze, he did not alert
In September, Draheim, 22, was sentenced to eight years in prison and was
ordered to pay $346,417.56 in restitution and serve three years of supervised release.
Nowling was sentenced to 20 months in prison and a year of supervised release and
was ordered to pay $100 in court costs.
Alleged shooter identified
A Crime Stoppers caller provided police with the name
of the man who was suspected of peppering a crowded parking lot with gunfire, Sgt.
Mike Huff said.
Dustin Loy Wells was arrested Aug. 24 after being charged in an
Aug. 21 shooting in a parking lot outside On the Border Mexican Cafe, 8702 E. 71st
St., where Robert Tunnell was wounded. Tunnell, 19, of Broken Arrow, was discharged
from a hospital six days later.
Sgt. Mike Huff ranked the tip that led police to
Wells as one of the biggest Crime Stoppers tips provided to his Homicide Squad in
"It was a really high-profile case, and we developed that information from a Crime
Stoppers tip, which led us to identify him and arrest and get him off the streets,"
Huff said the gunman randomly fired a gun in the crowded parking lot and that it was
sheer luck that more people were not injured.
Besides the shooting at the restaurant, Wells is also accused of robbing two people
of jewelry Aug. 21 in another crowded south Tulsa parking lot and an Aug. 18
gun-pointing episode near Fourth Street and Harvard Avenue. Wells awaits trial on nine
After a preliminary hearing in October, Tulsa Special Judge Sarah Smith ordered
Wells held on three assault counts, two robbery counts and one count each of shooting
with intent to kill, feloniously pointing a weapon, possessing a stolen vehicle and
using a vehicle to facilitate discharge of a weapon.
Church loot quickly recovered
St. Mary's Catholic Church Monsignor Dennis Dorney
said church officials were shocked that someone stole a 4-foot crucifix, 14 Stations
of the Cross and a plaster angel from their church at 1347 E. 49th St.
But they were just as surprised to get the property back about 48 hours later,
thanks to the Crime Stoppers hot line.
Brent Charles Pate was a suspect in the Feb. 6 burglary of the
church and was featured in "Most Wanted" news reports on Feb. 25. He was arrested in
Los Angeles in April.
In June, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to four
counts of concealing stolen property, two counts each of burglary and making false
declaration of ownership to pawn shops, single counts each of possessing a stolen
credit card and possessing drug paraphernalia, and two traffic-related misdemeanors.
The property was recovered after it was traced to two businesses, which reported
that the items had been purchased from a man identified as Pate, police reported.
"I think without the Crime Stoppers program, the businesses would never have known
where the property came from," Dorney said. "I am 100 percent convinced that is how we
got them back."
Crime spree suspect captured
Detectives said Crime Stoppers tips provided them
crucial evidence that led to the arrest of a man who is now charged with 18 counts in
connection with a violent burglary and robbery spree.
Gregory Kyle Malone is charged with raping one resident during a
break-in. In another burglary, he is charged with beating a man so severely that the
man later had one of his eyes removed. And in another, an intruder broke through a
window, attacked a man and bit him on the back.
Detectives were aggressively pursuing leads as the cases quickly mounted. Through a
Tulsa World article, they alerted the public to the spree in hopes that tips to Crime
Stoppers would help determine who the burglar was,
Detective Mike Eubanks said.
They also hoped the burglar would stop his spree before more people were hurt.
"We knew we needed to get the story before somebody got killed," Eubanks said.
"After the newspaper story ran, almost immediately we started getting several Crime
"One of the calls provided his first name and information that he had left town.
Then ultimately we received another tip that gave us his full name. Crime Stoppers
really did get the ball rolling."
Photo leads to porn arrest
As part of an investigation into a multicounty
pornography network, police and U.S. Postal Inspectors tracked every lead they found
to try to identify a man who was pictured in a videotape having sex with an underage
But when their leads dried up, law officers gave a still picture to the media and
listed the Crime Stoppers number as the means to report tips.
Hours after the picture aired on TV news, more than 70 people called and provided
police with information about the man pictured in the edited picture. Many of the
tipsters called him by name.
Officer Lucky Lamons described it as one of the largest responses to a Crime
Stoppers case last year. Wayne Karl Siegel was arrested at his
residence Oct. 6.
In November, Special Judge Todd Singer found sufficient evidence to support four
felonies -- three counts of possessing child pornography and one count of procuring a
child for obscene videos -- against Siegel.
Troopers snag purse snatcher
Police received more than 10 Crime Stoppers calls
identifying a Sapulpa man as the suspect in a string of purse snatchings targeting
elderly victims in Tulsa last winter.
"Callers gave us his name, and we were looking for him, but he was arrested by
Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers after they witnessed another purse snatching before
we had a chance to find him," Officer Lucky Lamons said.
Jeremy Lane Wolfe was arrested Jan. 23 after he took a purse and
led four Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers on a chase that ended when the defendant
crashed his car, police said.
The troopers were preparing to eat at the Town West Shopping Center on West Skelly
Drive when they heard cries for help and saw a man yanking a purse from a woman who
had been dragged to the ground. After a short car chase, the man -- identified as
Wolfe -- wrecked his car on Interstate 44 and was apprehended by pursuing troopers,
according to reports.
"When the troopers arrested him, we knew that he was our suspect in several cases --
not just the case they witnessed -- because of the calls we received on the Crime
Stoppers line," Lamons said.
Wolfe pleaded guilty to six felony counts of robbery by force plus a misdemeanor,
eluding police. In June, Tulsa District Judge Tom Gillert sentenced Wolfe to
consecutive 45-year and 25-year terms in accordance with a plea agreement in which
three other robbery counts were dismissed.