Woman says Tulsa Police didn't arrest burglars, police say woman's own words set them free

Posted at 9:23 PM, Jan 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-17 23:13:24-05

TULSA - It's something we all hope never happens; burglars forced their way into a business taking whatever they could, but the owner said even with pictures of the suspects and an address it wasn't enough to get an arrest. 

If you live anywhere near East Pine and 71st you know the White Crow Tavern. 

And you know the owner Deana Criner-San Juan is no-nonsense. 

“They weren’t going to help me. I was handed an email address. They were done with me.”

So, when burglars forced their way into the bar in December she was determined to find them. 

She recognized the perpetrators and took to Facebook. 

“I feel like when I initially did the report I felt hope.”

Someone sent her an address. 

"I all but figured it out and I called the police to help me."

Facebook Live rolling she watched officers talk to the people she identified from surveillance and come back without them. 

"The whole role of the police world is really to put them in the penitentiary and not so much worry about getting your stuff back," an officer is heard telling her. 

"The owner has decided that if they get their property back they're good," said Tulsa Police Department Public Information Officer Shane Tuell. 

Police said officers asked if she wanted to press charges and she told them no. 

"I had to basically agree that I wouldn't press charges on her, I had to tell her what she wanted to hear to get my things back."

She said she was in survival mode, but police say she set the suspects free. 

"If I come and I burglar your house and then you tell me 'hey as long I get my property back, I'm not going to press charges.' You're no longer a victim. That no longer makes me a suspect," Sgt. Tuell said. 

"They should've never left it to me to make that decision when they saw the people walking out of the house with my stuff; it's an automatic KCSP, "Knowingly concealing stolen property," Criner-San Juan said. 

She eventually got her stuff and hugged the woman she believed stole it. 

"So, yea, did I hug her? Sure. I probably would've kissed her, I probably would've done stupid things. But everybody still has a job, we still open our doors. So yea, I said what I had to say to get my things back," she cried. 

She said her fear shouldn't have been somebody's get out of jail free card. 

Police said if she decides she wants to pursue charges, it's now up to the Tulsa County District Attorney's Office to accept them after the fact or not. 

Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.

Download our free app for Apple and Android and Kindle devices.

Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines and Daily Forecasts.

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook