Oklahoma Arrest Records and Crime Rates
When making an arrest, agents of a law enforcement body will create a police report or arrest record that details the events that took place. The report is written from the standpoint of law enforcement, and includes all pertinent information about the encounter. This record is useful for that reason, as it is unalterable, and provides insight for parties that were not present.
Oklahoma Police Reports
Police, sheriffs, and agents use arrest records to convey knowledge of an incident to their superiors, courts, lawyers, news agencies, and the public. It’s part of an effort in transparency and accountability, and arrest records are held for a significantly long time - sometimes dating back decades - in both official forms and through media outlets. Arrest records describe all details of an incident, and typically includes the names of those involved or present, the time and place of the encounter, the details of actions that occurred as well as countermeasures taken by law enforcement. These reports are unalterable after filing, and due to that rigidness, arrest records and police reports often serve as the first piece of evidence submitted in a case.
Arrest records and police reports are classified as public records. Oklahoma residents are entitled to seek out those reports, make copies, and utilize the information within. This is due to the implementation of the Oklahoma Open Records Act, which itself was a state version of the national Freedom of Information Act. Per the Open Records Act, “The purpose of this act is to ensure and facilitate the public's right of access to and review of government records so they may efficiently and intelligently exercise their inherent political power. The privacy interests of individuals are adequately protected in the specific exceptions to the Oklahoma Open Records Act or in the statutes which authorize, create or require the records. Except where specific state or federal statutes create a confidential privilege, persons who submit information to public bodies have no right to keep this information from public access nor reasonable expectation that this information will be kept from public access; provided, the person, agency or political subdivision shall at all times bear the burden of establishing such records are protected by such a confidential privilege.”
Typically, arrest records can be found through the law enforcement agency that performed the arrest of intrigue. This may be statewide, a county concern, or a local level activity. Finding arrest records and police reports can also be done by visiting the nearest police headquarters, though some agencies offer online requests.
Crimes and Arrests
Crimes and arrests in the Sooner State are on an overall downturn over the last five years, with total arrests lowering by about 10% from 142,999 in 2013 to 128,613 in 2017. However, arrests for violent crime are on the ascent, equating to a 5% rise in the same time period. The general lowering in crime is due to a strong descent in property crime, which lowered 12% from 2013 to 2017.
Violent Crime arrests totaled 16,930 in 2013, which accounted for 207 murders, 1,762 rapes, 3,052 robberies, and 11,909 assaults. Every category saw a decrease in the following year with the exception of rape, which has increased every year since 2011. 2017 saw arrests for 246 murders (a 16% increase from 2013), 2,246 rapes (22% increase), 2,978 robberies (2% decrease), and 12,461 assaults (4% increase.)
Property crime arrests were overall down, but no consistent trends were presented over the last five years. Instead, fluctuations leaning toward a downturn exist, but not in significant numbers for any individual category. Burglary decreased between 2013 to 2017 by about 16% from 33,581 to 28,174. Larceny decreased by 13% from 81,357 to 70,474. Motor Vehicle Theft rose 8% from 11,131 to 12,034. Finally, arrest for arson decreased sharply by 17% from 837 to 692.
Oklahoma’s Bureau of Investigation offers a wealth of information on arrests in the state, and includes a section on the nature of murder that occurred during the year. In 2017, 64 murders occurred during felonious activity, while 182 were non-felony related. Of the arrests for felony murders, 1 happened as a result of rape, 34 during robberies, 3 during burglaries, 3 as a result of arson, 12 were drug related, and 10 were unspecified. For the non-felony murders, 9 were as a result of a “lover’s triangle,” 3 murders were of children by babysitters, 4 were as a result of a brawl fueled by alcohol consumption, 1 was as a result of a brawl fueled by narcotics consumption, 5 occurred after an argument involving money or property, 57 happened after unspecified arguments, 6 were “gangland killings,” and 97 were for other circumstances or unspecified.
In terms of the weapons used, 67.9% were perpetrated with firearms. Of those, 54.1% involved handguns. 2.8% were perpetrated using chemicals, drugs, or fire, 14.2 percent were perpetrated using blunt objects or knives, and 9.8% were perpetrated using physical force such as forced drowning, bludgeoning with hands or fists, and strangulation.
2013 also saw a widespread redefinition of rape that makes an occurrence much broader and eliminates gender from the wording. Per the United States Department of Justice Archives, “For the first time ever, the new definition includes any gender of victim and perpetrator, not just women being raped by men. It also recognizes that rape with an object can be as traumatic as penile/vaginal rape. This definition also includes instances in which the victim is unable to give consent because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.”
To accommodate for an age where specificity is needed to prosecute offenders, the 1924 definition of rape was rewritten from “The carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will” to “The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”
County and School Crime
Oklahoma’s violent crime rate was higher than the national average in 2016, with a rate of 449.8 for every 100,000 people to the national average of 386.3. Its property crime rate was higher than the national average, of 2,982.9 for Oklahoma to 2,450.7 for the national average.
Tulsa County is the 2nd largest county in the state of Oklahoma, and is home to the city of Tulsa, which also serves as the county seat. With a population of 646,266, Tulsa had the highest overall arrest rate per 1,000 residents, with a rate of 48.51. The county experienced 4,930 violent crimes, and 28,287 property crimes in 2017. For violent crime, there was 72 murder, 541 rapes, 1,047 robberies, and 3,270 assaults. For property crime arrests, there were 6,751 burglaries, 17,193 reported larcenies, 4,178 motor vehicle thefts, and 165 counts of arson.
The largest campus in Tulsa County is the University of Tulsa, with just over 4,682 students in attendance. The school reported on 1 murder, 17 rapes, 3 robberies, 2 assaults, 20 burglaries, 16 vehicle thefts, 1 arson incident, 1 illegal weapons possession, and 9 drug law violation between 2013 and 2015.
Pottawatomie County is the ninth largest county in Oklahoma, and has its seat of government in the city of Shawnee. The county has a population of 72,226, and had the second largest arrest rate in Oklahoma with 41.42 crimes per 1,000 residents. The county had 508 violent crimes and 2,512 property crimes in 2017. For violent crime, this accounted for 4 murders, 40 rapes, 30 robberies, and 434 assaults. For property crime this accounted for 645 burglaries, 1,576 larcenies, 280 vehicle thefts, and 11 counts of arson.
The county is also home to the Oklahoma Baptist University, which is the largest school in Pottawatomie. With a population of 1,965, the school reported 27 burglaries, 2 motor vehicle thefts between 2013 and 2015.
Comanche is Oklahoma’s fifth largest county with a population of 121,526. It had the third highest crime rate in the state with a rate of 40.93 crimes for every 1,000 people. The seat of the county is in Lawton. In 2017, the county reported 858 violent crimes and 4,100 property crimes. For violent crime, there were 8 murders, 97 rapes, 132 robberies, and 621 assaults. For property crime, there were 1,305 burglaries, 2,430 larcenies, 357 motor vehicle thefts, and 8 arson incidents.
The largest school in Comanche is Cameron University, with an enrollment of 6,463 students in 2017. Between 2013 and 2015, the school reported 1 rape, 1 robbery, 2 burglaries, 1 illegal weapon possession, and 1 drug law violation.
Arrest records for Comanche County are available through the Comanche County Court Clerk's office, located at 315 SW 5th St, Lawton, OK. Record searches cost $10, with the first page of a copy priced at $1.50. Each additional page costs $.50. Only cashier’s check and money order are accepted.
Oklahoma County is Oklahoma’s largest county with a population of 787,958. It had the fourth highest crime rate in the state with a rate of 39.97 crimes for every 1,000 people. The seat of the county is in Oklahoma City. In 2017, the county reported 5,816 violent crimes and 30,818 property crimes. For violent crime, there were 94 murders, 590 rapes, 1,290 robberies, and 3,842 assaults. For property crime, there were 7,559 burglaries, 19,800 larcenies, 3,356 motor vehicle thefts, and 103 arson incidents.
The largest school in Oklahoma County is University of Central Oklahoma, with an enrollment of 17,239 students in 2017. Between 2013 and 2015, the school reported 6 rapes, 3 robberies, 30 burglaries, 1 motor vehicle theft, 3 illegal weapon possessions, 66 drug law violation, and 3 liquor law violations.
Muskogee County, Oklahoma’s 11th largest county with a population of 69,086, had the fifth highest crime rate in the state with a rate of 39.91 crimes for every 1,000 residents. The seat of the county is in Muskogee City. In 2017, the county reported 576 violent crimes and 2,200 property crimes. For violent crime, there were 1 murder, 50 rapes, 53 robberies, and 472 assaults. For property crime, there were 709 burglaries, 1,303 larcenies, 160 motor vehicle thefts, and 28 arson incidents.
One of the larger schools in Muskogee County is Bacone College, with an enrollment of just over 1,000 students in 2010. Between 2013 and 2015, the school reported 4 aggravated assaults, 57 burglaries, 1 motor vehicle thefts, 1 illegal weapon possessions, 32 drug law violations, and 24 liquor law violations.
Pittsburg County ranked sixth for overall crime rate in the state of Oklahoma, with 36.36 crimes per 1,000 people in 2017. The county is Oklahoma’s 22nd largest with a population of 44,184, and runs its government center in the city of McAlester. The county reported 190 violent crimes in 2017, which included 2 murders, 33 rapes, 11 robberies, and 144 aggravated assaults. They also reported 1,409 property crimes, which included 367 burglaries, 917 larcenies, 114 motor vehicle thefts, and 11 arsons.
To find an arrest record in Pittsburg County, contact the Pittsburg County Sheriffs. Records are available upon request at the county sheriff’s office located at 1210 North West Street, McAlester, OK.
Kay County is Oklahoma’s 21st largest county with a population of 44,544. The seat of government is centered in Ponca City, and the county ranked seventh for crime rate with an overall crime rate of 33.79 crimes per 1,000 people. In 2017, there were 265 violent crimes, which included 45 rapes, 128 robberies, and 192 assaults. There were also 1,255 property crimes, which included 322 burglaries, 853 larcenies, 62 vehicle thefts, and 18 arson incidents.
The largest school in the county is the Northern Oklahoma College, which had an enrolment of 5,378. Between 2013 and 2015, the school reported no crime.
Cherokee County is Oklahoma’s 16th most populated county, but ranked eighth in crime rate, with 33.27 crimes per 1,000 people. The seat of government is in Tahlequah. In 2017, the county was witness to 137 violent crimes and 1,493 property crimes. For violent crimes, this accounted for 3 murders, 12 rapes, 12 robberies, and 110 assaults. For property crimes, there were 326 burglaries, 1,018 larcenies, 138 motor vehicle thefts, and 11 arson incidents.
Garfield County came in ninth for crime rate with 33.26 crimes for every 1,000 people. It has a population of 61,581, making it the twelfth largest Oklahoma county, and holds its government seat in Enid. In 2017, the county experienced 191 violent crimes, and 1,912 property crimes. For violent crimes, there were 1 murder, 36 rapes, 21 robberies, and 133 assaults. For property crimes, there were 458 burglaries, 1,327 larcenies, 105 motor vehicle thefts, and 22 arson incidents.
The Garfield County Records Section is located at 301 W. Owen K Garriott Rd, Enid, OK. They are open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, barring holidays. All inquiries for arrest records are handled there.
The 17th largest Oklahoma county, Carter, is home to 48,190 people and holds its seat of government in the city of Ardmore. With a crime rate of 32.53, it has the tenth highest crime rate of Oklahoma counties. The county experienced 174 violent crimes in 2017, which accounted for 2 murders, 20 rapes, 20 robberies, and 132 assaults. They also had 1,407 property crimes, which include 387 burglaries, 933 larcenies, 81 motor vehicle thefts, and 6 arson incidents.
Oklahoma crime by county