Thieves target Tulsa Raceway Park
TULSA (FOX 23) - A Tulsa icon is ripped off by thieves a weekend before a big event. Early Monday morning, thieves stole $20,000 to $30,000 in heavy equipment from Tulsa Raceway Park in the 3100 block of North Garnett Road.
"Absolutely, we want them caught," said TRP office manager Becky Segura.
Tulsa Raceway Park nearly closed last spring but new owners kept it from shutting down.
Now a new garage is half empty with a John Deer Zero turn lawn mower, Gator All Terrain and Yamaha blue four-wheeler missing. Tulsa Raceway Park wants the thieves caught.
"It really is disheartening,” said Segura. "Just come in and take off with all of our equipment and not a care in the world."
The National Equipment Register reports in its annual 2011 report, Oklahoma is among the top ten states for heavy equipment thefts. Riding lawn mowers and garden tractors are the most popular pieces of equipment stolen.
"Some of the equipment stolen was not only our equipment but equipment from other companies as well,” said Segura.
P&K Equipment in Owasso gave the TRP tools and equipment to maintain the track. When thieves broke in and stole the equipment the company gave them more equipment so fans like Sam Ives could use the track.
"They had to borrow someone else's equipment to get us going to today," said Ives.
He owns the Tulsa County Heatwave and said the thefts remind him of nearly losing the park last spring but new owners saved it.
Now crooks are trying to put skids on the track.
"It's a slap in the face when something like this happens," said Ives.
The office manager said TRP has been a tradition for families for 40 years and they want to keep it that way.
With some extra help, this weekend’s Nitro Nationals race will go on and TRP owners hope getting the word out will help grease the wheels of justice.
“It's very disheartening. We have owners that stepped up to the plate. They've done a lot of major improvements on the track and took a lot of pride in Tulsa Raceway Park," said Segura.
Surveillance video was in use but the manager said there wasn’t a clear picture of the thieves.
If you have any information about the heavy equipment thefts call Crime Stoppers at (918) 596-COPS (2677) or text a tip to “CRIMES” (274637) and begin your message with “TIP918” or you can submit a tip online at www.tipsubmit.com. Remember you never have to give your name and your tip could lead to a cash reward.
You can register your equipment or check to make sure you are not purchasing or selling stolen equipment by visiting the National Equipment Register website.