Tulsa Police called to 68% false alarm calls in 2016; TPD asking public to be mindful of alarms

Posted at 9:41 PM, Mar 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-10 07:32:28-05

TULSA -- Minute by minute Tulsa Police work to keep the community safe, but that’s a tough job when false alarms divert officers from real calls.

It looks like any old American diner. Burgers, fries and shakes. But Monday February 27, a man through a brick through a window at the Freeway Café and stole the register.

The incident set off an alarm, but when police arrived it was too late, the suspect fled.

The café’s owner says only 45 cents was stolen.

"In the last two years that we've had this open, we've never had a false alarm go off,” said Samon Adib, owner of the Freeway café.

But police say that’s not the norm.

In 2016, dispatchers handled more than 35,000 intrusion alarms. Tulsa police responded to almost 30,000 of them only to find 68 percent were false alarms.

"It is a big drain on manpower because we don't send one officer because you never know what you're going to get into,” said Sgt. Shane Tuell with the Tulsa Police Department.

Tuell says people need to be mindful and realize if officers take time to come to your house on a false alarm, there’s probably someone else who really needs their help.

"There's going to be that person carrying in the groceries and can't hit the alarm in time. Or they get into the business and don't get to the other side of the wall where the alarm is and turn it off in time,” said Tuell.

Tuell suggests that anyone with an animal inside their home doesn’t set their alarm to motion detect.

"It's going to interrupt you from a phone call from your alarm company and it's going to interrupt us from going to something that we need to go to,” said Tuell.

For now, the man seen in the diner is still on the loose, but those in the diner say they’re thankful the alarm worked and the security system caught the culprit on camera.

Tulsa police don’t issue citations if they respond to one false alarm, but they say, if the problem keeps getting worse, they may start writing tickets.

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