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?

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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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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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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Have an SUV with third-row seats? Park Cities police officers suggest either parking in a locked garage or locking down those seats with a device like this Xtra Lock bar.

Have an SUV with third-row seats? Park Cities police officers suggest either parking in a locked garage or locking down those seats with a device like this Xtra Lock bar.

The theft of third-row seats from SUVs has been termed a “vicious circle.” Burglars steal the seats and sell them to dealers, who sell them back to the victims, who reinstall them in their vehicles, which are then potentially burglarized again.

This has been a problem for years in the Park Cities and the surrounding areas, and the trend ramped up again this month:

  • Between 5 p.m. on Oct. 5 and 4:30 a.m. on Oct. 6, a burglar pried open the rear window of a gray 2012 GMC Yukon in the 4600 block of Livingston Avenue and stole the third-row seat.
  • Between 4 p.m. on Oct. 9 and 8:15 a.m. on Oct. 10, a burglar pried open the rear window on a silver 2010 GMC Yukon in the 4500 block of Southern Avenue and stole the third-row seat.
  • Between 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 10 and 7 p.m. on Oct. 11, a burglar pried open the rear window of a black 2007 Chevy Tahoe in the 4600 block of Edmondson Avenue and stole the third-row seat.
  • Before 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 12, a burglar entered a gray 2007 GMC Yukon in the 4300 block of Amherst Avenue and stole the third-row seat as well as $1,500 worth of Titleist golf clubs.

Police advise SUV owners to lock the seats down with cables and park their vehicles inside locked garages. Of course, many people in the Park Cities opt to park on the streets, as you’ll see if you click through for a roundup of other recent crimes.

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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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