Monday, September 25, 2006

Tulsa Still Recovering From Hurricane Katrina

One Woman Crime Spree
KOTV - 9/25/2006 2:10 PM - Updated: 9/25/2006 4:50 PM
Tulsa Police are taking a sigh of relief after putting a woman behind bars. They say she's a one-woman crime spree since she came to Tulsa last fall.

News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright says Tulsa Police say 21 year old Serrita Lambert came to Tulsa from Louisiana last fall after Hurricane Katrina and has been arrested nearly every month since, twice in some months.

Police say victims sometimes mistakenly identified her as a boy. They say she may only be 5-feet-4 and 120 pounds, but she's nothing but combative. Tulsa Police Sgt. Dave Walker: "She'll steal anything that's not nailed down. Now, she's graduated into armed robbery."

Records show she just pleaded guilty to stealing items from a house and possessing illegal drugs on August 8th. She was given a 7 year prison term, but it was all suspended, so she was just released.

She's already back in jail because Tulsa Police say she robbed a man while he was washing his car Sunday afternoon. Elpidio Esbedido tells the News on 6 what happened through an interpreter. "All of a sudden, when I turned around, she had a gun pointed to my head." Police say she targets Hispanic men and mostly commits her crimes near 61st and South Peoria.

Tulsa Police say sometimes, she poses as a prostitute, although she never intends to keep her promises and when she gets the man alone, she pulls a knife or another weapon and demands their wallet. With Elpdidio, she just pulled a gun and took his money. He says despite her size, she was aggressive and scary. "Makes me feel bad. I don't have as much faith in the city. It put fear in my heart."

Tulsa Police say she's done that to too many people and they're ready for her to be put away for good, hurricane victim or not. Sgt. Dave Walker: "There's been plenty of refugees who have adjusted just fine. She's not going to adjust, no matter where she's at."

Before she got the 7 year suspended sentence for larceny, burglary and drugs last month, records show she got a one-year suspended sentence for obstructing police in January and before that, she got a one year suspended sentence for drug paraphernalia.

Tulsa Police officers tell the News on 6 they're sick of arresting her every time they turn around.

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Just let me say this...I understand that many of the people from Louisiana who fled to Tulsa for relief from hurricane Katrina are not like the woman above. However, many were and I'm tired of our already taxed police force having to deal with people that are ungrateful for what we have done for them. I've read and heard story after story about the bad impact these people have had on our city and state. I have yet to see a story about how Oklahoma helped someone who lost their home during hurricane Katrina without having it immediately followed by a story of murder/robbery/drugs/rape, and/or other crimes committed by the citizens of Louisiana. By the looks of tonight's football game, I would say the streets are dry and it's time to go home.

I'm sure this will offend most anyone who reads this(which shouldn't be many) but it blows my mind how these people can live with what they do after so much money was raised and thousands of people volunteered to ensure that these people had a place to go.