Arrests down in some areas, up near two Walmart stores
BY CURTIS KILLMAN World Staff Writer
Friday, November 23, 2012
11/23/12 at 12:53 PM
Tulsa police are arresting fewer people in midtown and more people in outlying areas of the city, the latter in part due to more bookings linked to Walmart larcenies, a Tulsa World analysis shows.
The analysis of Tulsa Police Department arrest data indicates jail bookings in recent years have generally declined over large swaths of the city. The biggest declines in arrests are in the areas just east of downtown, the analysis shows.
Meanwhile, arrests have increased principally in two areas of the city.
The increase in arrests are in large part due to more larceny arrests at two Walmart stores: one near Memorial Drive and Admiral Boulevard, the other near 81st Street and Lewis Avenue.
A city prosecutor said while he doesn’t keep statistics on where cases originated, he noted that experience has shown the two Walmarts are always big sources of his case load.
“We get a lot of tickets from there and arrests from there,” City Prosecutor Robert Garner said.
The analysis of TPD data indicates arrests at an address associated with the east side Walmart increased from about 340 in fiscal 2007 to nearly 800 in fiscal 2012.
Arrests at the 81st Street and Lewis Avenue Walmart have increased from about 100 bookings in fiscal 2007 to 440 in fiscal 2012.
A spokesman at Walmart corporate headquarters did not respond to a request for comment. The arrest data does not include those cases where only a citation was issued, a common practice.
Elsewhere in Tulsa though, arrest rates since 2007 have declined.
The biggest decline in booking rates was the area bounded by 21st and Pine streets and Peoria and Harvard avenues. The arrests rates there declined by about 300 to 500 bookings per square mile from 2007 to 2012.
And while the area, which includes the Kendall-Whittier neighborhood, is still within one of the higher arrests zones in the city, jail bookings have declined by about 35 percent since 2007.
Former City Councilor Maria Barnes, a Kendall-Whittier neighborhood resident of 27 years, said she has noticed a reduction in crime in the area in recent years.
“You have a neighborhood and businesses that have come together,” Barnes said.
Read more in Saturday's Tulsa World.