Gunman Startles University Park Homeowner in Alley, Fires Shots before Departing

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pistol muzzle close up

We’re starting off with something really scary this week. At 12:19 p.m. on Sept. 30, a resident of the 2800 block of Amherst Street took her recycling to the alley and was startled to find a stranger there. The man said nothing to her, but he pointed a pistol in her direction. The woman fled, and she heard one shot being fired as she ran away. Police checked the area, but they could not find anyone matching the victim’s vague description of the shooter: a black male.

That’s something you certainly don’t expect to hear about – much less experience – in the Park Cities. This next bit of detective work from the same day sounds absolutely harmless by comparison.

At 9:09 p.m. on Sept. 30, police stopped a 48-year-old pedestrian named Daniel Alvarez in the 3500 block of Beverly Drive. But they had no evidence that he had committed a crime, so they let him go.

However, when officers spotted him again just before midnight in the 4700 block of Preston Road, Alvarez had allegedly acquired several items, including a set of jumper cables, two black cases holding CDs and DVDs, a red Boston Red Sox cap, and a blue Dallas Mavericks cap. Finding this accumulation of possessions odd, officers decided to arrest him on the charge of “pedestrian in the roadway.”

Let’s fast forward to 5:25 the next morning, when an officer noticed that the driver’s door on a white 2011 Chevy Tahoe was standing open in the 3200 block of St. Johns Drive. An inventory by the vehicle’s owner revealed that the following items were missing: 10 souvenir key chains, a plastic bag containing $6 worth of change, a lugnut lock key, a set of jumper cables, and a black case holding several CDs and DVDs.

Five hours later, a resident of the 4700 block of Abbott Avenue discovered that a burglar had entered her red 2008 Toyota Yaris and stolen a plastic bag containing $100 worth of makeup, a black case holding CDs and DVDs, a red Red Sox cap, and a blue Mavericks cap.

Alvarez is a suspect in both burglaries, as well as a third in the 3400 block of St. Johns Drive, where a white 2013 Ford Expedition was rifled through, but the victim could not say for sure what was stolen. He is not listed as a suspect in this next crime, but he probably should be.

At 11 p.m. on Sept. 30, a resident of the 3600 block of Beverly Drive heard a strange noise when he used his electronic key to try to lock his black 2010 Mercedes S550. He later realized the noise was due to another electronic key being inside the car, which prevented the doors from locking. By the time the resident entered his car at 7 the next morning, a thief had helped himself to a $500 Samsung phone, the aforementioned $300 electronic key, a $120 pair of Bose headphones, $15 in cash, and a VIP parking pass for AT&T Stadium.

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

  • Between 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 26 and 11 a.m. on Sept. 27, a thief entered a silver 2005 Chevy Equinox that had been left unlocked in the 4600 block of Belclaire Avenue and stole the following from the glove compartment: a driver’s license, $40 in cash, and a piece of paper bearing information about the victim’s bank accounts.
  • Between 3:30 and 11 p.m. on Sept. 27, a vandal keyed a 2014 BMW 325i in the 4300 block of Bordeaux Avenue.
  • Between 4 and 7 p.m. on Sept. 28, a thief walked into a garage in the 3700 block of Northwest Parkway and stole a $400 Trek bicycle.
  • Between 7:30 and 10:50 a.m. on Sept. 29, a blue and gray 2006 Ford F250 valued at $2,000 was stolen from the 4700 block of Highland Drive.
  • At 1:12 p.m. on Sept. 29, an office was dispatched to the 4400 block of Lakeside Drive to investigate a report of clothing hanging from bushes. The officer found the following in a nearby park: a blue, short-sleeve, button-down shirt; a blue “Obama ’08” shirt; a pair of blue slacks; a white undershirt; a white pair of underwear; a tube of Crest toothpaste and a toothbrush; a razor and a can of Barbasol shaving cream; a brush; a bar of Irish Spring soap; and a towel.
  • Between 5 p.m. on Sept. 30 and 8:45 a.m. on Oct. 1, a thief stole $1,400 worth of golf clubs from an attached garage in the 4000 block of Amherst Avenue.
  • At 7:10 a.m. on Oct. 4, an officer was dispatched to the 3500 block of Lindenwood Avenue to investigate a report of a small black car blocking the alley. The officer entered the alley from its west end and saw the car at the east end, with two boxes on its roof. As the officer approached the small black car, a man slammed its trunk, hopped in the driver’s seat, and sped away. The two boxes fell off the roof as the car made a sharp turn on to Auburndale Avenue. The officer pursued the car onto southbound Central Expressway but broke off the chase when the car reached speeds in excess of 100 mph. When the officer returned to Auburndale, he discovered that the boxes each contained a window. The officer then observed a house under construction in the 3500 block of Lindenwood, with several uninstalled windows stacked in the garage. The general contractor was contacted, and he discovered that nine other windows were missing from the construction site.
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Zachary Dickens

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