Window Air Conditioner

Does that window air-conditioning unit make you an easy target for burglars?

Well, the new version of the Dallas Police Department’s incident reports are sorely lacking in interesting information. For example, we can tell you that a burglar entered a house in the 5900 block of Revere Place, just a few blocks south of Stonewall Jackson Elementary, “through the doggy door” on Aug. 18, but we can’t tell you what he stole. And on the same day, not so far away, a burglar entered a house in the 6200 block of Velasco Avenue by removing an air-conditioning unit from a window. But there are no details on the loot, which is often the most interesting part.

Luckily, we still have the two Park Cities police departments to give us the scoop on incidents such as this: Between 11 p.m. on Aug. 22 and 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 23, a burglar entered a black 2014 Range Rover that had been left unlocked in the 3800 block of Miramar Avenue and stole a Louis Vuitton wallet — which held $150 in cash and seven credit cards — from a purse. (The victim said she always leaves her purse behind the front seat, for whatever reason.) But the burglar ignored (or didn’t notice) a bank envelope in the same purse that held several hundred dollars in cash. He did, however, take a blue iPod Mini, a white first-generation iPod, and a charger from the console. Poor choices on the part of both the victim and the criminal here.

Click through to read our crime report covering 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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Here’s something to consider when you are house-hunting: not only is Plano safe, it can add extra years to your life. Recall I told you last year on DallasDirt that Plano was boring because, except for the teenage heroin deaths of a whole generation ago, it’s one of the safest cities in America. Forbes selected Plano as one the safest cities in the USA. That’s right: our Plano, Texas!

“There are still plenty of U.S. cities where the living is easy. Take Plano, Texas–residents of this wealthy Dallas suburb enjoy the lowest violent crime rate of all big American cities, and have a much lower rate of fatal car crashes. In fact, this “All-American City” tops our list of America’s Safest Cities.”

Now comes word that Plano is not only safe, but living there increases your life expectancy. Plano has been included in a list of the top twenty cities in the USA where folks have a longer life expectancy. So think about that when you go buy a house! Most of the cities are on the west coast, no shocker  there — San Jose, CA tops the list. Others include Anaheim, CA, Bridgeport, CT and Seattle. Of course Honolulu is way up there. Note also that most of these cities are some of the most expensive places to live, like San Francisco. So what they are saying is something we already know: rich people tend to live longer lives. When you can afford a chauffeur to navigate you through traffic jams, it’s a lot less stressful!

PS: Gotta love the world’s vision of Plano: hay farming!

All the squawking in this country about illegal immigration, I thought this might help influence your first, second and third home purchases: the safest cities in the U.S. have higher immigrant populations — and better ethnic food, all of which is very important when considering a second home purchase!

CQ Report Press, now owned by SAGE Publications, an independent publishing house founded by the publisher of the St. Petersburg (FLA) Times, Nelson Poynter, after whom The Poynter Institute, a journalistic think tank, is named, compiles the list. That the late Nelson Poynter started the Congressional Quarterly in 1945 gives me security as to the validity of the research. According to CQ’s research, these are the safest cities in the USA — and our own Fort Worth/Cow Town is one of them:

CITY FOREIGN BORN POPULATION
El Paso 26.1 %
Honolulu 25.3 %
New York 35.9 %
San Jose 40.5 %
San Diego 25.7 %
Austin 16.6 %
Portland 13.0 %
Los Angeles 40.9 %
Seattle 16.9 %
Fort Worth 16.3 %

Here are the highest crime cities in the US and the only one with high crime and a higher foreign-born population appears to be Houston.

CITY FOREIGN BORN POPULATION
Detroit 4.8 %
Baltimore 4.6 %
Memphis 4.0 %
Washington, DC 12.6 %
Atlanta 8.7 %
Indianapolis 4.6 %
Philadelphia 9.0 %
Milwaukee 7.7 %
Houston 26.4 %
Columbus 6.7 %

I wonder why Houston has higher crime than the other cities? This was not brought up much during the recent race for Texas governor, in which incumbent Rick Perry defeated Bill White, whom Houstonians love. If you have any ideas or thoughts, chime in.