Photo by Tony Webster, via Flickr

Photo by Tony Webster, via Flickr

We haven’t been writing about crime much lately for two reasons:

1. The Dallas Police Department continues to withhold the juicy narratives from its incident reports. Emily Toman and Rachel Stone of Advocate Magazines recently did a great job of explaining why this is frustrating to people besides us perennially complaining journalists.

2. Lately, the incident reports from the Park Cities police departments have been little more than identity thefts or purses being snatched from unlocked vehicles.

However, one recent incident report from University Park did catch our eye. A Realtor with a home address in Plano told police that $5,200 worth of her signs were stolen from eight different properties between Jan. 7 and Feb. 8.

First of all, is the going rate for a yard sign these days really $650? Wow.

Secondly, why would this particular Realtor’s signs have been targeted? We reached out to her via email in an attempt to get more details, but she hasn’t responded.

Meanwhile, University Park Officer Lita Snellgrove clarified that the brokerage in question is a family business.

“There could be a family dispute among the owners,” she said. “The victim does not suspect rival Realtors of taking the signs.”

Have any agents reading this ever had their yard signs stolen — by family members, partners, or anyone else? If so, did you bring the cops into it?

Several homes on Beverly Drive in Highland Park were targeted by a gunman in a drive-by shooting. More details regarding the damage have emerged.

Several homes on Beverly Drive in Highland Park were targeted by a gunman in a drive-by shooting. More details regarding the damage have emerged.

We have a few more details regarding the Jan. 9 drive-by shooting on Beverly Drive in Highland Park. They don’t pertain to a suspect or a motive, but they are details.

When police returned to the scene of the crime on Jan. 10, they found bullet holes at two homes in the 3300 block of Beverly Drive. At one of them, the bullet entered the house through a front window and came to rest in a bookcase. The owner told police that he assumed the noises he’d heard the previous evening were related to Irving’s spate of earthquakes.

At the other house, police noticed a hole on the exterior wall behind the fireplace. It was about a half-inch in diameter and approximately 4 inches off the ground. An interior investigation was not possible because the owners were out of town. But they returned home on Jan. 13 and found no interior damage, so it appears the bullet is lodged between the wall and the fireplace.

Most of the crimes reported in the Park Cities last week involved shoplifting or identity theft. Only a few incidents happened on residential streets:

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3500 Beverly

Beverly Drive is home to some of the most distinctive — and expensive — real estate in Dallas. It’s one of the last places you’d expect a drive-by shooting to happen.

If someone were to ask you which street in Dallas County would be the least likely site of a drive-by shooting, Highland Park’s Beverly Drive would be near the top of the list. Strait Lane in Preston Hollow might be the only street that could nudge it from the No. 1 position.

Nonetheless, random gunfire was reported on Highland Park’s toniest thoroughfare last Friday night. At about 9:25 p.m., multiple residents near the intersection of Beverly and Hillcrest Avenue heard anywhere from four to nine shots. Officers responded to the area, but they didn’t hear any shooting, nor did they locate any suspects.

While searching the area, officers found out that a resident of the 3300 block of Beverly, who had been woken by a loud noise, discovered that a large storm window on the front of her house had been shattered. Officers located a bullet-size hole in the window and determined that the projectile passed through a interior window, a curtain, and two sides of a lamp shade before coming to rest in the binding of a Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory. The book was booked as evidence.

Further investigation revealed another bullet hole in a second window at the same house. Officers were able to trace that bullet’s path through a curtain and across the keys of a Gulbransen piano before finding it lodged in the musical instrument. Given the piano’s size, the officers decided to leave it at the scene of the crime.

A neighbor told police he not only heard the gunshots, he saw “muzzle flashes from a gun” coming from an eastbound vehicle. But he was not able to see the make or model of the moving car. The resident of the bullet-riddled house, a woman in her 80s, told police she knows of no one who is upset with her at this time — at least, no one upset enough to use her home for target practice.

The next day, officers returned to the 3300 block of Beverly and noticed bullet holes on two other houses. They were able to make contact with only one home’s owner. He told police he was home and awake at the time of the shooting, but he assumed the noises were related to another earthquake.

By comparison, last week’s other residential crimes in the Park Cities were positively tame:

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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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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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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.

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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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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