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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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:

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The short length of Potomac was a hotbed of criminal activity last week. Several property crimes occurred on this street and to the north on Milton.

The short length of Potomac was a hotbed of criminal activity last week. Several property crimes occurred on this street and to the north on Milton.

The evening of Sept. 14 was a busy one for criminal activity on Potomac Avenue in Highland Park and Milton Avenue in University Park. And there was one particular set of incidents that linked those two streets.

After 9:30 p.m., a burglar rummaged through two vehicles – a black 2012 Mercedes GL450 and a blue 1999 Ford Explorer – that had been left unlocked outside a house in the 3900 block of Potomac Avenue. Nothing was reported stolen from the Explorer, but the burglar took a case of Winchester shotgun shells from the Mercedes, as well as a key to a blue 2010 Volvo S90 that had been parked outside the same house.

The Volvo was found in the 2600 block of Milton Avenue, where it had been backed into a detached garage. A silver 2011 Jeep Wrangler that had been parked in that same garage was stolen, as were a $1,600 set of Taylor Made golf clubs, two $200 pairs of Maui Jim sunglasses, and a $200 Husky compressor.

These were just two of several crimes reported that night on Potomac and Milton:

After 4 p.m., a burglar stole $4,768 worth of property from a black 2007 BMW X3 in the 3200 block of Milton Avenue, including a $900 pair of boots, a $400 jacket, and a $600 stroller.

After 4:30 p.m., a burglar opened a black 2002 Lexus SUV that had been left unlocked in the 3600 block of Potomac Avenue and removed a beige bag. The bag contained nothing but DVDs of children’s movies, and we assume that the burglar was disappointed by its contents, because the bag and DVDs were found in the 3800 block of Potomac Avenue at 6 a.m. on Sept. 15.

After 9 p.m., a burglar rummaged through a white 2011 Volkswagen Jetta in the 3800 block of Potomac Avenue. Nothing was reported stolen. The victim believes she had locked her car, but there were no signs of forced entry.

After 9 p.m., a burglar stole $300 worth of tools and a $200 iPod Nano from a black 2009 GMC Yukon that had been left unlocked in the 3000 block of Milton Avenue.

At 9:28 a.m. on Sept. 15, a woman wearing nurse’s scrubs knocked on a door in the 3600 block of Potomac Avenue and told the homeowner that she’d found a rolling file case in the driveway. The case contained documents related to a North Dallas couple’s divorce. Police contacted the law firm responsible for the documents, and a staffer was dispatched to retrieve them. No one with the law firm could explain how the case got to the driveway on Potomac, and the identity of the medically garbed Good Samaritan remains a mystery.

Click through for last week’s Park Cities burglaries that didn’t happen on Milton or Potomac:

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Maybe it's time for more bulletproof glass and armor plating in Highland Park? (Photo: Conquest Vehicles)

Maybe it’s time for more bulletproof glass and armor plating in Highland Park? (Photo: Conquest Vehicles)

Well, the Dallas Police Department has restored the public’s access to online incident reports. However, the juicy narratives are missing from said reports; the cops say they’re still working out the kinks. Based on how this has gone so far, look for things to be fully up and running no later than Thanksgiving.

The thing is, we didn’t have time to peruse the new-and-(sort-of)-improved DPD site because there was a crime wave (relatively speaking) in Highland Park. The excitement started at 1:40 a.m. on Aug. 16, when an officer noticed a small hole in a window on a green 2007 Honda CRV in the 3100 block of St. Johns Drive. The vehicle’s owner said the window had been intact when he last saw it at 8:30 p.m.

Before dawn, similar damage had been inflicted on a black 2011 Cadillac Escalade and a beige 2004 Chevy Tahoe in the same block, as well as …

  • A silver 2000 Mercedes CL500 and a red 1998 Ford Explorer, both in the 3200 block of St. Johns
  • A white Audi S4 (year undisclosed), a black 2005 Chevy Tahoe, and a gray 2014 GMC Acadia, all in the 3300 block of Drexel Drive
  • A silver 2014 Bentley and a 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser (color undisclosed), both in the 3400 block of Drexel.

Each of these incident reports said the window appeared to have been hit by an unknown projectile. Meanwhile, in what we can only assume is a related case, a miscreant fired two bullets at an attached garage in the 3500 block of St. Johns Drive between 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 15 and 6 p.m. on Aug. 16. The bullets damaged a black 2014 Range Rover and a metal sign in the garage.

Click through to read about more residential crimes in the Park Cities.

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Garages were burglarized and bikes were stolen in the Park Cities last week, and Dallas Police were called in once to help.

Garages were burglarized and bikes were stolen in the Park Cities last week, and Dallas Police were called in once to help.

We’re hopeful that someday, somehow, the Dallas Police Department will figure out a way to once again share their incident reports with the public. Until then, we bring you this story of a Highland Park crime that briefly involved officers from Dallas.

At 5 a.m. on Aug. 5, an alarm sounded from an apartment above a detached garage in the 3700 block of Maplewood Avenue. The homeowner assumed the wind had set if off, but she called police a few minutes later when a second alarm sounded from her home gym.

Two Highland Park officers arrived at 5:15; one approached from the front of the house, and the other came from the alley. The latter officer noticed a car start to pull into the alley and then immediately back out. At the same time, a gate to the backyard next door opened for just a second. Suspecting that there was a burglar on the other side of that gate, the officer entered the neighbor’s yard, but he was unable to find anyone. The other officer tried to help with the pursuit, but the rear gate at the burglarized house was locked. Backup and air support were called in from Dallas and University Park.

Once the futile search for suspects was over, officers discovered wires and empty TV mounts in the gym, the garage’s living room, and the garage’s bedroom. They subsequently found three TVs leaning on a fence near the apartment, confirming their suspicion that they’d interrupted an in-progress burglary.

At 10:30 a.m., a resident of the 3800 block of Maplewood found a yellow Trek bicycle and three Hawaiian shirts near his trashcans in the alley. Having received an email from the Department of Public Safety about the burglary in the next block, the resident called police, thinking his discovery may have been related. An officer took the bike and shirts to the burglary victim, but she didn’t recognize them.

Click through for a roundup of other recent crimes in the Park Cities.

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Several bike thefts happened in the Park Cities over the last week.

Several bike thefts happened in the Park Cities over the last week.

There was a lot of pedal pushing and finger pointing in Highland Park last week after several expensive bicycles eased on down the road.

  • Between noon on July 27 and noon on Aug. 3, four mountain bikes with a combined value of $21,500 were stolen from an attached garage in the 3600 block of Potomac Avenue. The victim is sure that his son, who was staying at the house while the victim was on vacation, must have left the garage open, but the son denies that. Two sets of golf clubs, a power washer, and a fifth mountain bike were all left untouched.
  • Between 9 a.m. on July 23 and 9 a.m. on July 29, a burglar stole three bicycles with a combined value of $4,050 from a detached garage in the 3800 block of Potomac Avenue. The victim said his family and various contractors may have left the garage open during the designated time span.
  • Between 8 p.m. on Aug. 1 and noon on Aug. 3, a burglar entered a detached garage in the 3800 block of Mockingbird Lane and stole two Specialized bicycles with a combined value of $1,472. An $850 47-inch Vizio television and a $350 Nintendo Wii were also stolen from an apartment above the garage. Both the apartment and the garage had been left unlocked. The victim said a friend’s son played video games in the apartment while the friend tended to the victim’s dog. But the victim took the high road and blamed neither of them.

Click through for more residential crimes reported in the Park Cities last week.

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Maybe it's time to start hiding your checkbook, folks.

Maybe it’s time to start hiding your checkbook, folks.

Our crime report has been on hiatus because the Dallas Police Department has been trying to upgrade its online database. Until they get the kinks worked out, we’re limited to telling you about residential crimes in the Park Cities.

At 10 a.m. on July 7, a resident of the 4500 block of Lorraine Avenue reported that one of his checks had been stolen. He made this discovery on July 1, when he was balancing his checkbook and found a record of a $450 check being written to a man whose name he didn’t recognize for “home repairs.”

The check was dated June 13, and the victim’s home had been cleaned on June 11. So he called his cleaning service and asked if the check’s recipient was an employee there. No, he was told, but that person was the son of an employee.

The victim and his wife have known this particular employee for years, so they asked her about the incident. She told the couple that she had brought her son to their home on June 11, so he could earn some money be helping her clean. She seemed unaware of the theft, and was very apologetic.

The couple believed her and told her they would not press charges if her son returned the $450, as well as $250 Mont Blanc pen that they kept near their checkbook, by July 7. But he did not, and that’s why you’re reading about the incident here.

The employee’s son, a resident of Plano, has a criminal history that includes charges of burglary of a habitation, burglary of a vehicle, evading arrest, and possession of a controlled substance.

Here are a few other notable crimes in the Park Cities:

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Garage Burglar

By Dan Koller

CandysDirt.com Contributor

I’m in the midst of a move, so I know firsthand how frustrating it can be to transport all of your possessions and knickknacks from one house to another. Still, I wouldn’t want to be in the shoes of the victim in this week’s highlighted crime.

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