Articles by

Zachary Dickens

01/06/15 2:03pm

Mother-of-the-Year

It was a pretty random post-Christmas week in the Park Cities, and while it appears that more residents are locking their cars to prevent thefts, burglars are still targeting vehicles. It’s worth repeating that firearms shouldn’t be left inside unoccupied vehicles unless in a locked compartment.

Read all the way through this week’s crime report after the jump for a very special “Great Moment in Parenting,” where we are sure you’ll agree that we already have one person in the running for Mother of the Year.

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12/30/14 12:50pm
Photo: VinTech Blog

(Photo: VinTech Blog)

We all are sometimes awoken by strange noises at night. But those noises are rarely caused by strange men trying to break into our house.

At 12:50 a.m. on Dec. 24, a resident of the 4400 block of Bordeaux Avenue was awakened by a thumping sound. When she got downstairs, she saw two men kicking the glass on her back door.

Understandably, she immediately ran back upstairs to wake her husband. But the two burglars soon fled the scene, having accomplished nothing but breaking the door’s outer glass pane. When police arrived, they found a claw hammer and a grinder near the base of the door. What a scary start to one family’s Christmas.

Only a few other crimes were reported in the Park Cities last week:

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12/17/14 12:56pm

Jordan Towing

As if anyone needed an additional reason to buy a house in Highland Park, here’s one more: The town’s police are not going to let a bunch of rowdy football fans park their cars in front of your house.

During the past two weekends, SMU’s Gerald J. Ford Stadium has hosted three high school playoff games. As noted by our friends over at Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate, Highland Park enacted a “residents only” parking zone in the neighborhood immediately south of the stadium on each game day.

Saturday night’s game was the real barn-burner of the three. Allen erased an 18-point deficit to defeat Skyline and earn a berth in the Class 6A Division I state championship game. After watching that comeback victory, fans must have been euphoric as they made their way back to their vehicles. But that euphoria was short-lived for at least seven people whose vehicles were not where they left them. Highland Park police had the following cars and trucks towed from Drexel Drive, Cornell Avenue, and Sewanee Avenue:

  • A black Toyota Tacoma registered to a Garland address
  • A white Ford Explorer registered to a Richardson address
  • A gray BMW 530 registered to a Preston Hollow address
  • A white Chrysler 300 registered to a Duncanville address
  • A white Chevrolet Camaro registered to a Murphy address
  • A white Chrysler PT Cruiser registered to a Pleasant Grove address
  • A black Dodge Journey registered to a Northwest Dallas address

If anyone reading this happens to be missing a vehicle matching any of those descriptions, you can find it at Jordan Towing’s impound yard in Plano.

12/09/14 11:48am
The beer bust in Highland Park was no party at the moon tower, especially after cops cleared the house.

The beer bust in Highland Park was no party at the moon tower, especially after cops cleared the house.

The most notable incident in this week’s Park Cities police blotter is more embarrassing than frightening. Just before 9 p.m. last Friday, two Highland Park officers were dispatched to the 3700 block of Crescent Avenue to investigate a report of a party where minors may have been drinking. One officer approached the home in question and rang the doorbell several times. Thanks to the glass doors on either side of the house, he could see people trying to scale the back fence while he was waiting for someone to answer.

Two teens finally opened the door but stated that they did not live at the house. The officer asked to speak to the owner, but the teens were not cooperative. So the officer entered the house and loudly announced his presence; still, the owners did not emerge. So he proceeded to the backyard, where people were still scaling the back fence. Unbeknownst to them, the second officer was waiting in the alley to detain them.

The first officer noticed several cans of Coors Light spread around the pool area, and then heard a noise from the pool house. He shined his flashlight in the direction of the pool house and saw what appeared to be several teenagers trying to hide from him. He entered the pool house and confirmed that at least 40 teens were inside, along with several more cans of beer. The officer told the teens to stay put as he investigated further.

The officers eventually located a son and daughter of the house’s owners. The daughter said their father was in Austin and their mother was not home. She could not say exactly where and claimed her mother would not answer her phone.

Police dispatchers made several attempts to contact the homeowners with little success. All this time, the wife was returning her daughters’ texts but refusing to come home. Finally, one of the officers on the scene texted the husband, who called him back. The officer told the husband that if a responsible adult did not show up soon, his children might have to be taken into custody and charged with alcohol violations.

Shortly thereafter, the wife came downstairs and admitted that she’d been hiding in a closet the entire time. She was issued a “failure to supervise a child (alcohol)” citation.

One male partygoer who admitted to buying the beer was issued a “minor in possession” citation. A girl who smelled of alcohol, slurred her speech, and kept refusing to follow an officer’s instructions was handcuffed to a chair and issued a “minor consumption” citation. The incident report also includes the names of 14 teens – seven 18-year-olds and seven 17-year-olds – who had to call their parents to pick them up. Awkward!

Click through for a roundup of last week’s other residential crimes in the Park Cities:

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12/02/14 12:50pm
Some thieves took a brief break from burglarizing vehicles in the Park Cities during Thanksgiving Day.

Thieves took a brief break from burglarizing vehicles in the Park Cities during Thanksgiving Day.

For the most part, the criminals who target the Park Cities took a Thanksgiving break like the rest of us. But a few filled their pockets with loot before filling their bellies with turkey and dressing.

A week ago today, residents of the 4400 block of Lorraine Avenue woke up to find that their vehicles had been violated by bad guys, including one who is apparently averse to debt.

  • Between 10:30 p.m. and 5:45 a.m., a thief stole a black 2012 Ford F150 that was parked on the street.
  • Between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m., a burglar broke into a black 2011 Toyota 4Runner and stole a $200 pair of Oakley sunglasses and a $150 iPod.
  • Between midnight and 11:30 a.m., a burglar broke into a black 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe and stole a $200 radar detector as well as a wallet that contained $20 in cash and a Colorado driver’s license. Credit cards that had been in the wallet were tossed in the back seat.

Click through for a roundup of last week’s other residential crimes in the Park Cities.

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11/25/14 11:50am
After the Grand Jury declined to indict the Ferguson, Mo., police officer who shot Michael Brown, riots erupted in the St. Louis suburb yesterday evening. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

After the St. Louis County Grand Jury declined to indict Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, Mo., police officer who shot Michael Brown, riots erupted in the St. Louis suburb yesterday evening, leaving police officers such as this one to respond. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Last week’s police activity was fairly light, even by the Park Cities’ standards. But the incidents detailed below seem even more inconsequential because I compiled them last night, as I was monitoring the chaos erupting in Ferguson, Mo.

Jump for news on property crime in the Park Cities:

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11/18/14 7:21pm
A home surveillance camera caught a thief in the act of burglarizing an unlocked car, but the thief managed to escape.

A home surveillance camera caught a thief in the act of burglarizing an unlocked car, but the thief managed to escape.

Because the incident reports supplied by Dallas police remain largely useless, we must rely on the cops in Highland Park and University Park to provide us with all the juicy details. Last week, a busy little burglar targeted several vehicles along a street that traverses the border between the Park Cities.

At about 1:35 a.m. on Nov. 11, a thief jumped a rear fence in the 3500 block of Potomac Avenue and stole $60 in cash from a 2011 GMC Yukon Denali that had been left unlocked. We know what time this happened because it was captured by the victim’s security cameras. The thief then walked around to the front of the house and tried to open another vehicle there, but — shockingly — it was locked, so the thief moved on in search of easier targets. His search would prove to be fruitful:

  • Between 6 p.m. on Nov. 10 and 6 a.m. on Nov. 11, a thief entered a gray 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee that had been left unlocked in the 3400 block of Potomac Avenue and stole a $100 purse that held $40 in cash.
  • Between 5 p.m. on Nov. 10 and 3 a.m. on Nov. 11, a thief entered two SUVs that had been left unlocked in front of a house in the 3700 block of Potomac Avenue. A $150 pair of Persol sunglasses and a $150 set of headphones were stolen from a black 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe. The thief took registration and insurance papers from a black 2010 GMC Yukon, as well as a fire extinguisher and a credit card holder containing an American Express card and a Mastercard; the cards were used at a Tom Thumb and a 7-Eleven at about 3 a.m. on Nov. 11. The thief apparently had no use for the victim’s Avis Chairman’s Club card nor his two Marquis Jet cards, as those were all found in a neighbor’s yard.
  • Between 10 p.m. on Nov. 10 and 9:45 a.m. on Nov. 11, a thief entered a gray 2013 Lexus LX 570 that had been left unlocked in the 3400 block of Potomac Avenue and stole a $750 Louis Vuitton wallet.

Click through for a roundup of other residential crimes in the Park Cities:

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11/11/14 10:15am
RoscoColtrane

HPDPS officers were in hot pursuit of a Dodge pickup that has been connected to third-row seat thefts in the Park Cities. We imagine it felt a lot like a chase scene from “Dukes of Hazzard.”

As I figured out how to succinctly tell this tale, I couldn’t help but hear the giggles of Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane in my mind.

Just before 9 p.m. on Nov. 5, a Highland Park officer began tailing a tan-and-blue Dodge Dakota near the intersection of Bordeaux Avenue and Lomo Alto Drive. The officer suspected the pickup may have been connected to a recent string of third-row-seat thefts from SUVs.

The truck meandered through the streets of Highland Park — with its driver using a turn signal no fewer than four times — before accelerating northbound on Roland Avenue. When the pickup ran the stop sign at Beverly Drive, the officer turned on his overhead lights. The pursuit continued at higher speeds as the truck turned right on Mockingbird Lane – without using a signal, of course.

By the time the truck approached Highland Park Village, the officer had communicated to dispatch that the chase was on. A second officer, who had been working an off-duty shift at the shopping center, turned on his lights and became the primary pursuer, chasing the truck as it circumnavigated the Dallas Country Club, then backtracked on Mockingbird toward the Dallas North Tollway.

The second officer continued to pursue the truck in the Tollway’s southbound lanes, where the chase reached speeds exceeding 100 mph. But the officer had to break off his pursuit after two cars got between his patrol vehicle and the truck as it exited on to Interstate 35.

Click through for a roundup of last week’s other residential crimes in the Park Cities.

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