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Tulsa woman targeted in robbery scheme

Posted at 9:57 PM, Jun 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-25 23:26:01-04

TULSA -- A woman was targeted in a robbery scheme at a popular south Tulsa park. A man held her at gun point and stole her car and phone, but it turns out he wasn't acting alone.

74-year-old Ellen Agronis walks 30 miles a week either along the River Parks or Creek Turnpike trail.

"I have been doing this for years and have never had a bad experience," said Agronis.

But that changed Tuesday morning when a man approached her at her car.

"He asked me if I could give him directions to Inola," said Agronis.

She didn't know off the top of her head, so she went to look at her phone.

"Suddenly, he had this gun pointing at me!" said Agronis.

Agronis says she couldn't believe what was happening.

"For a nanosecond my thought was, is this a joke?" said Agronis.

Unfortunately it was far from a joke. The man demanded her car keys and cell phone while pointing the gun at her.

"I handed him my phone I said take it all, and my thought was to get away from the car," said Agronis.

After he took off in her car, Ellen says a man on his phone told her he saw everything and was calling the police.

"He said they’re on their way, they’ll be here in a few minutes, why don’t you go sit down in the shade and wait for him?" said Agronis.

She waited about ten minutes, when another woman approached her asking what happened.

"She was pregnant and her baby was due December 26 so it was going to be a Christmas baby, so we were just having a nice little chat," said Agronis.

After the woman left and still no police, Ellen grew suspicious and asked a man nearby to call her family and police.

"They said there was no report of a theft," said Agronis.

Turns out, they were in this together. Ellen believes their delay tactics were planned to give them time to get away with stealing her car.

"I just thanked God that I was safe," said Agronis.

It wasn't until Ellen's son, Doug, used an app called Find My Phone that led police officers to location of the vehicle.

"When I was actually talking to the officer I was telling her I do have this on here and all of a sudden it turned back on and it was exactly to the parking spot where they are," said Doug Miller, Ellen's son.

Three suspects were arrested and charged for the crime, William Landry, Alfonso Thomas, and Jana Oliver.

Police officers found the three in a van together in west Tulsa. Ellen's car was at the apartment complex nearby with her license plate taken off and stickers on the car ripped off.

According to the booking report, the victim's ID was found on the floor of the van. When officers took the suspects into custody, the report states that Landry had a cell phone and gun in the front of his pants. It says that Landry also had the keys to the victim's car in his pocket.

The report says that the gun Landry had belonged to a victim in a robbery from June 23. Detectives showed that victim a photo lineup containing Landry, which the victim positively identified as the suspect in that robbery.

Ellen says the experience doesn't scare her from walking along the river, she says she's going to be far more cautious.

"My advice to anybody is do not keep valuables in your car," said Agronis.

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