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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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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Park Cities residents have an awful time remembering to lock their car doors, which is a boon for thieves.

Park Cities residents have an awful time remembering to lock their car doors, which is a boon for thieves.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but police in the Park Cities largely filled their time last week with two types of incidents: burglars breaking into SUVs to steal third-row seats, and thieves helping themselves to all of the loot that Parkies leave inside their unlocked vehicles.

The 3900 and 4000 blocks of Miramar Avenue were ripe for the picking on the evening on Oct. 27. At one house, a thief stole a $3,500 diamond-and-gold bracelet and a credit card after rummaging through a purse left inside a silver 2007 Lincoln Navigator. The victim said this was the second time her vehicle has been burglarized at her home; she admitted that she’d left it unlocked both times.

Such behavior is common in her ’hood. That same night, thieves stole two packages of Apple software and a pair of women’s running shoes from a silver 2014 Land Rover, and $12 in cash from a white 2013 Mercedes. Neither vehicle was locked.

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

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Small Car Door Key Lock

An act as simple as locking a car could prevent a tremendous amount of theft in the Park Cities. Though there’s no accounting for whether thieves are clever enough to take the real valuables.

Let’s play a game called “Who Was Stupider?” Your choices are the victim and the perpetrator in a crime that happened between 6 p.m. on Oct. 21 and 7:45 a.m. on Oct. 22.

Here’s the case for the victim, a resident of the 4000 block of Miramar Avenue: Not only did she leave her gray 2007 Lincoln Navigator unlocked overnight, but she left the key to the vehicle in the console. She also left her $3,500 Chanel purse in the car, which contained a $1,200 diamond bracelet and her $500 Prada wallet.

Here’s the case for the perp: He stole the wallet – which held three credit cards, two debit cards, a health insurance card, and a driver’s license – but he left behind the much-more-valuable purse and bracelet. He also passed up the opportunity to steal the Navigator.

Of course, he had plenty of other opportunities that night in Highland Park. The following incidents all happened that same evening, and all of them involved unlocked vehicles:

  • Between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m., a thief stole an $800 black Trek bicycle from a driveway in the 4700 block of Drexel Drive. The thief also rifled through a white 2008 Mercedes in the same driveway.
  • Between 9:30 p.m. and 7:15 a.m., a burglar entered a black 2014 Cadillac Escalade in a driveway in the 3600 block of Crescent Avenue and stole a $300 pair of DGBG sunglasses, $150 worth of Gap girls’ clothing, and a $100 bottle of Romance cologne. The burglar also entered an unlocked side door on the house and tried to remove a wall-mounted 40-inch Panasonic television. The door was left ajar.
  • Between 6 p.m. and 7:30 a.m., a burglar entered a 2008 Lexus LS460 beneath a porte-cochere in the 4000 block of Miramar Avenue and stole a $5,000 ostrich briefcase that held a $600 iPad.
  • Between 11 p.m. and 7:30 a.m., a burglar entered a black 2014 GMC Sierra in the 3500 block of Euclid Avenue and stole a Sony laptop, a Tenba computer bag, and $50 in quarters. Because the police were at his house, the victim also reported that his white Trek bicycle was stolen from his garage between May 11 and Aug. 10.
  • Between 10 p.m. and 11 a.m., a burglar entered a 2011 Chevrolet Suburban in the 3900 block of Euclid Avenue and stole a $350 gold cocktail dress that had been purchased from Neiman Marcus so recently that it was still in a plastic bag and bearing a price tag.

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

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Jimi Hendrix

A pricey semi-automatic engraved Cosmi shotgun was pilfered from an unlocked Highland Park home in January, and a Parker shotgun was stolen from a car in University Park. We’re wondering if at least one of the thieves is named “Joe.”

 

At 10:35 a.m. on Oct. 16, a Highland Park police officer was dispatched to the 4400 block of Highland Drive in regards to a vehicle burglary that happened the night of Oct. 14. But the victim said a report about that crime wouldn’t be necessary, because everything that was stolen was untraceable. However, the victim did wish to report that some items had been stolen from inside his home last January.

The victim said he used to occasionally leave his house unlocked. Somehow, someone accessed two locked closets and stole a $30,000 Piaget gold watch, a $25,000 set of gold-and-diamond cufflinks, a $20,000 Cosmi 12-gauge shotgun with extensive engraving, and a $2,500 set of jade-and-diamond cufflinks. The victim kept the more expensive set of cufflinks in a small bag; when he went to retrieve them, he found pesos in the bag instead.

Because there were no signs of forced entry to the closets, the victim believes the thief must be someone who knows him and also knows where the keys are kept. But he declined to give the officer any names of potential suspects. When asked why he waited so long to report the thefts, the victim said a friend him advised not to call the police because they wouldn’t be able to do anything about it.

If it were me, I’d be casting a suspicious eye toward that friend.

Click through for a roundup of more recent crimes in the Park Cities, where the recent uptick of third-row-seat thefts shows no sign of slowing down.

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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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A friendly reminder to the folks of the Park Cities. Three easy steps to curb auto burglaries.

A friendly reminder to the folks of the Park Cities. Three easy steps to curb auto burglaries.

It was another exciting Saturday night on the tony, tree-lined streets of Highland Park. At 11:49 p.m., a police officer noticed a silver 2012 Toyota Camry sitting in the 4700 block of Abbott Avenue with its high-beams on. After watching the Camry make a rolling left turn onto Knox Street without using a signal, the officer attempted to pull the car over.

Ignoring the patrol vehicle’s lights and siren, the Camry’s driver proceeded north on Central Expressway, reaching speeds nearing 100 mph. The Camry exited the freeway at Caruth Haven Boulevard, and the officer pursued the car on surface streets, sans lights and siren. But he lost sight of the Camry when it crossed several lanes of Northwest Highway to get back on Central.

There were two people inside the Camry. We assume their hearts were racing as fast as their car, because the following break-ins were reported in Highland Park that same evening:

  • After 4 p.m., a burglar rifled through a black 2013 Infiniti SUV and a black 2006 BMW SUV, both of which had been left unlocked behind a gate in the 4300 block of Livingston Avenue. Nothing appeared to have been stolen.
  • After 5 p.m., a burglar broke into a black Chevrolet Suburban in the 5100 block of Sewanee Avenue and stole four pairs of headphones.
  • After 5:30 p.m., a burglar rifled through a BMW X5 that had been left unlocked behind a gate in the 4300 block of Livingston Avenue and stole a Cole Haan wallet containing $40 in cash, three credit cards, a debit card, and a driver’s license. By the time the victim discovered the theft, his American Express card had been charged at a Walgreens and by American Airlines. The burglar ignored a set of golf clubs and a case of shotgun shells that were left in plain sight.
  • After 6 p.m., a burglar broke into a white 2013 Mercedes S250 in the 3200 block of Princeton Avenue, but nothing appeared to be stolen.
  • After 7 p.m., a burglar broke into a black 2013 Kia Rio in the 3400 block of Princeton Avenue and stole seven pairs of sunglasses.
  • After 7 p.m., a burglar entered a black 2007 GMC Yukon that had been left unlocked in the 4300 block of Lorraine Avenue and stole a handicapped placard.
  • After 7 p.m., a burglar broke into a white 2003 Ford Explorer in the 3900 block of Mockingbird Lane and stole a set of keys and a Mirage flute.
  • After 8:30 p.m., a burglar broke into a black 2009 BMW 528 in the 5200 block of Sewanee Avenue, but nothing appeared to have been stolen.
  • After 10 p.m., a burglar tried to break into a black 2011 Range Rover in the 3400 block of Princeton Avenue but only managed to damage a window.
  • After 10 p.m., a burglar rifled through a blue 2012 Range Rover that had been left unlocked behind a gate in the 4300 block of Livingston Avenue and stole a credit card and a driver’s license.

Click through for a roundup of other crimes reported in the Park Cities last week:

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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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