fraud

(Illustration courtesy Pixabay)

When my husband and I closed on our newest home in December, I remember vividly the flurry of emails between the lender, the title company, our Realtor, and more. It seemed like daily — and especially as the closing date drew nearer, hourly — there was some new form that would need to be signed, or some new update on the process.

So when I heard last week of a family in Frisco (who declined to be named for this story) who showed up at closing thinking they had already paid their down payment, only to find that the emailed instructions they got were a fraud, it didn’t sound improbable.

You get a lot of emails. And if one came from what appeared to be a title company or a lender and you had never bought a home before (or hadn’t purchased one in a while) you might take a request to wire your down payment as some kind of new, modern way to do it.

Only, it’s not. And this family showed up at closing and were surprised when they were asked for the customary check for the down payment. It was literally the first time they knew that the thousands of dollars they had saved were gone forever. (more…)

package

This woman — later identified as Kelli Russell by authorities — was the talk of Lakewood after security camera after security camera has caught her taking packages from porches.

Your boxes of dog poop are a little safer today — the Dallas County District Attorney’s office said the alleged Lakewood (and parts surrounding Lakewood) Porch Pirate has turned herself in to authorities and will be charged with theft.

A statement released by the DA today said that Kelli Renee Russell, 33, will be charged with theft over $2,500, which is a state jail felony carrying a maximum sentence of two years and a fine not to exceed $10,000.  (more…)

LakewoodDetails are still coming in, but it appears our blond porch bandit that has been hitting Lakewood, M Streets, the Park Cities, and Midway Hollow has indeed been arrested (Note: This post has been updated to reflect requests by detectives working the case). (more…)

LakewoodSocial media can be a great tool for fact-finding. I mean, I use it every single day in some way to do my job, as do many reporters.

But sometimes, it’s a real butt burn. And it seems that this might be the case regarding the tapping of a potential suspect of several package thefts in the Lakewood, M Streets, Midway Hollow and Park Cities area we told you about last night (other local news affiliates woke up, had some coffee and hit this story sometime today — just sayin’).

Now, early this morning I awoke to a comment that named a specific person. It’s not our habit to name a suspect before the cops do (especially when the pictures of gleaned from the surveillance videos could be three-fourths of the female population in Dallas) unless we have a ton of proof.

And when I looked up the woman, I was a little flummoxed — because she was kind of well, known. (more…)

package

This woman has been the talk of Lakewood after security camera after security camera has caught her taking packages from porches (Photo on right courtesy Nicole McBee).

Despite the fact that nearly everyone has at least one camera pointed at their porch nowadays thanks to security systems and products like Ring, it seems like one Lakewood package thief has become the talk of the neighborhood for her chutzpah.

In the neighborhood’s Facebook group, which is curated by Realtor Kimberly Sinnott and her restaurateur husband Bob (who co-owns Toasted), the woman’s exploits have been posted regularly — first on a daily basis, it seemed, but now almost on an hourly basis. (more…)

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You wonder, given that we are down the number of police available to chase down criminals or respond to emergencies. We are lacking about 600 officers in Dallas. As a general rule of thumb, a city needs about 3 officers per 1,000 people to keep peace and safety. Last year Dallas had 2.94 per 1000, and this year we have 2.5. How does that compare to Plano, Frisco and McKinney? Good question, I’ll dig. Our response times are also up, too. This in a city where police have been violently attacked for three consecutive years, beginning with the attack on the Jack Evans Police headquarters in 2015, and the downtown shootings of July 7, 2016.

And then, this weekend, someone was trying to, yet again, attack our police. There was targeted gunfire aimed at the South Central Substation. Nine rounds of gunfire were shot, likely from a high power rifle, and one narrowly missed an officer’s head.

Unfortunately, the station is missing the ballistic glass, fencing and other security measures police were promised more than a year ago… and after all these deadly attacks.

City Councilman Phillip Kingston was the lone voice from City Hall calling for more security for these police stations.  (more…)

Jose Romero

We don’t often profile the good people who make our homes beautiful from behind the scenes. People like Jose Romero, pictured here. These are the strong, steady folks who show up when we ask them to, in all kinds of weather, mow the grass in 107 degree heat, or move chairs to just the right place in your living room after transporting them to you from the store.

On the morning of July 25th, longtime Antek’s employee Jose Romero was the victim of an attempted carjacking and robbery in Mesquite. During the struggle, Jose was shot in the neck and remains in serious condition in ICU at Baylor Hospital.

Jose has been employed with Anteks, one of our blog sponsors, for more than 24 years and is a valued and important member of the Antek’s team.

In fact, Antek’s owner Jason Lenox considers Jose part of his family.

The bullet entered Jose’s neck and ricocheted down into his chest cavity, doing significant damage. He is improving slowly, but remains on a respirator until he’s able to breathe on his own. His road to recovery will be long. Jose is the sole breadwinner for his wife and two older parents. They rely on him fully for financial support.

To say the least, Jose is hardworking, trustworthy and extremely loyal.

“That this tragic event happened to him is exceptionally unfair,” says Jason Lenox.

To help Jose with his family’s financial needs as well as his mounting medical bills,  the Anteks team has set up a GoFundMe page, (www.gofundme.com/2hvum9nf) for Jose and hopes to raise at least $50,000, all of which will go to help him and his family. Donations will also be accepted at the Anteks location in the Dallas Design District.

“We’re starting this page as part of our fundraising efforts to help Jose. Our goal is to raise $50,000 to help Jose get back on his feet,” says Jason Lenox. “He’s helped us all so much through the years; now we’re asking you to help him. Please make a donation today, and please forward this to anyone you think might be able or willing to help.”

Jose is still in the ICU, but the GoFundMe account is at $22,570… only $27,430 to go…

 

Photo: Dallas Police This porch thief last year was caught thanks to security cameras.

Photo: Dallas Police
This porch thief last year was caught thanks to security cameras.

Noelle Dixon is already down a couple of gifts thanks to package thieves that hit her Lakewood-area home last night and absconded with a shirt for her and a shirt for her daughter. Last year, thieves hit several locations, including homes in Midway Hollow, where two thieves were caught after they tried to pawn the items they stole.

“It happened tonight around 8:30 p.m.,” she told me last night. “We are filing a police report and posting a sign for all deliveries to ring the doorbell.”

And that’s a good idea, according to most every expert I’ve asked this week.  For instance, University Park’s Crime Prevention Officer Lita Snellgrove said that while they have not had any reports of package thefts so far, “many cities are already having problems.” An ounce of prevention, Snellgrove explained, can really lessen your chances of having those holiday gifts stolen off your porch. (more…)