I’d like to spend this month’s column talking about some local crime trends, crime prevention and situational awareness.
Crime Trends: Again we have had a resident’s personal identification stolen and checks cashed, in their name, in the Houston area. We have identified a suspect and there is an active warrant for their arrest. It was interesting to discover that the known suspect is a woman from the Houston area who alleged that she met someone on a dating site and was convinced that cashing checks for him was a good idea. Initially we believed the suspect was telling the investigator a story (translation was lying) about having met the provider of the stolen checks while looking for a date. Further investigation has led to another woman, in the Houston area, who appears to have met the same felonious gent, and also cashed checks for him.
Double Oak has also experienced two property crimes on Meadow Knoll. On or about Saturday, Jan. 25, (or maybe as early as the previous week) a person entered a homeowner’s fenced backyard and stole approximately $500 in alcohol.
On or about Jan. 21, an unknown person entered an open garage, without permission, and stole a checkbook out of a car. To our knowledge the checks have yet to be utilized by the offender. Both of the listed offenses reek of young offender(s) not thinking about the possible consequences of his/her actions.
The theft of the alcohol leaves our offender eligible for 180 days in jail, a nice mugshot, probation monitoring and probable court ordered counseling. The theft of the checkbook, from inside a residence, leaves our offender eligible for Burglary of a Habitation charges, a first degree felony that upon conviction, “…shall be punished by imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for life or for any term of not more than 99 years or less than 5 years.”
Odds are good that the offender has passed a check(s) and evidence is sitting on a bank or convenience store video system as I write this article. We were willing to drive to Houston to obtain video evidence and a confession. Rest assured we are more than willing to follow up again. If you, dear reader, have any information regarding any of these offenses please contact Investigator Murphy at 972-355-5995.
Nearby suburban communities have also experienced home invasion robberies where suspects follow the resident home and rob them of cash, jewelry and electronics. I’ve spoken in detail with one of the investigators and in one instance the victims were aware of having been followed home by multiple occupants in a sports utility vehicle. Please don’t hesitate to call the police if you are, or think you are, being followed by another vehicle.
Crime Prevention: Please…please…please shut garage doors, lock up your home, activate the burglar alarm, lock vehicle doors, don’t leave valuable property or documents in an easily accessed location (like an unlocked car) and report suspicious activity.
We are more than glad to speak with unregistered door-to-door salespeople, strangers on your property, people hanging out in vehicles at 2:00 a.m. etc. If you are leaving town for vacation or business please do not advertise your departure on social media! Save the vacation picture and video uploads until your return.
Over the years we have noticed that a disturbing number of Double Oak burglaries, property and identity thefts are committed by family members, associates of family members (shady friends of our children) or employees. Don’t give the offender(s) the added tactical advantage of posting your whereabouts on social media.
Situational Awareness: Home invasion robberies, car-jackings, armed robberies are all high risk / low occurrence events. Absolutely the most dangerous thing most of us in Denton County do, on a daily basis, is operate a motor vehicle or utilize our roadways as a pedestrian or cyclist.
On Thursday, Jan. 15, at approximately 10:35 a.m., I was driving a personal vehicle eastbound on FM407 at the intersection of Cedarcrest Lane. An extremely fit, blue-body-suit-wearing bicyclist crossed FM407 heading northbound from Cedarcrest Lane against the red light and was almost struck down by a motorist traveling southbound and turning left on FM 407.
It appeared to me that the motorist actually sped up to make the light and was surprised by the bicyclist. Rather than slow down and permit the bicycle to cross, the motorist sounded their horn and came very close to striking the cyclist.
A couple of observations: Hey bicycle guy…pay attention to traffic control devices! You aren’t collision proof and all it takes is one pissed off, or texting, motorist for you to be taking a dirt nap. Hey motorist! If you had struck and killed bicycle guy the primary witness would have been a police officer testifying that the last thing you did was speed up and honk before striking the rider.
You would have known the joy of being arrested, paying an attorney to represent you at an evidentiary hearing, the stress of waiting to be indicted by a grand jury and probable prosecution for Involuntary Manslaughter (with the attendant possibility of a prison sentence). I sincerely suspect you don’t act with such malice on a daily basis and that you were probably enjoying some road rage. Please folks…use courtesy with each other.
Congratulations to Corry Blount for having been selected as Police Chief for Bartonville. Chief Blount is a well-respected, career police officer who has served as a Captain with the Highland Village PD and the Captain of Support Services at the Denton County Sheriff’s Department. We look forward to working with Chief Blount and the officers of the Bartonville Police Department.
I can’t express sincerely enough how appreciated all the kind words of support, from strangers in the community, have been to our officers. Municipal law enforcement, as a profession, has been roundly criticized for the past year by just about every segment of society who can obtain a sound bite for political or financial gain. In my career I have never had so many people approach and thank law enforcement for their efforts to keep our communities safe. It is an honor to serve as a police officer in Denton County.
The following is the activity log from the Double Oak Police Department:
01-08 9:20 a.m. – Alarm – 100 blk. Twin Lakes, Double Oak – Accidental activation of alarm system by resident.
01-08 5:32 p.m. – Assault – 1200 blk. Porter Rd., Bartonville – Double Oak Officer assisted Bartonville PD with investigation into an assault allegation. Subject at scene was determined to have a parole violation and was taken into custody and transported to Denton County Jail.
01-09 1:51 a.m. – Alarm – 100 blk. Chapel Hill Dr., Double Oak – Accidental alarm activation by a resident.
01-09 11:06 a.m. – 911 Hang-up – 100 blk. Lake Trail Dr., Double Oak – Accidental dialing of emergency number.
01-09 9:59 p.m. – Criminal Mischief – 400 blk. Cross Timbers, Double Oak – Officer on patrol found a mailbox that appeared to have been run over by a vehicle.
01-10 7:04 p.m. – Smoke Investigation – 100 blk. Meadow Oak Ct., Double Oak – A resident accidentally overcooked food in a microwave causing a fire department response. Patrol officer remained with the resident until FD responded and cleared.
01-11 8:03 p.m. – Alarm – 100 blk. Maple Leaf, Double Oak – Residential alarm with unknown reason for activation.
01-11 8:03 p.m. – Disturbance – 200 blk. W. FM 407, Argyle – Double Oak Officer was cover unit while Argyle Police resolved a family disturbance.
01-11 11:26 p.m. – Suspicious Vehicle – 8100 blk. Justin Rd., Double Oak – Patrol Officer located an unfamiliar vehicle parked behind a church.
01-12 8:30 a.m. – Arrest – 200 blk. Simmons Rd., Double Oak – During the conduct of a traffic stop it was determined that a female motorist age 26 was wanted by Keller PD for seven traffic warrants. Subject was taken into custody and transported to Flower Mound jail.
01-12 4:27 p.m. – Criminal Mischief – 400 blk. Cross Timbers Dr., Double Oak – An unknown person knocked over a mailbox.
01-13 10:45 p.m. – Disturbance – 3600 blk. Waketon Rd., Flower Mound – Double Oak Officer assisted Flower Mound PD with attempting to locate an adult male suspect who was alleged to have struck his spouse and fled the scene on foot with a gun. Subject was located near the original call location and the disturbance was quelled.
01-15 7:54 p.m. – Disturbance – 1100 blk. Reese Way, Lantana – Double Oak Officer provided cover for Sheriff’s Deputy during the resolution of a disturbance.
01-15 8:02 p.m. – Suspicious Activity – 6600 blk. Hawk Rd., Double Oak – Homeowner reported a loud thump outside their residence. Officer didn’t find the cause of the thump.
01-16 2:49 a.m. – Disturbance – 8700 blk. Crockett Dr., Denton County – Fight between neighbors over a dog that had been barking all night.
01-16 9:19 a.m. – Criminal Mischief – 100 blk. N. Forest Ln., Double Oak – Resident reported that their vehicle’s tire had been slashed.
01-16 11:14 a.m. – Solicitor Complaint – 100 blk. Double Oaks Dr., Double Oak – A resident reported a representative of a tree cutting company soliciting door to door without a permit.
01-16 2:39 a.m. – Suspicious Circumstances – 100 blk. Timberleaf Ct., Double Oak – A resident reported finding a clear baggie containing a white powdery substance in their backyard. Officers collected the bag and conducted presumptive field testing which showed positive for codeine. (editorial note: Unfortunately extracting codeine from prescription medicines and smoking / perhaps injecting, for recreational purposes is a cultural fact. The narcotic was also enclosed in a small cellophane envelope commonly associated with illegal drug use.)
01-17 12:14 p.m. – Disturbance – 8900 blk. Charles St., Denton County – An adult female reported being assaulted by a known male. Officer remained on scene until the Complainant was transported to the hospital.
01-17 2:59 p.m. – Suspicious Circumstances – 400 blk. Simmons, Double Oak – A pedestrian reported that an unknown male, driving a van and speaking with an accent said something to her and smiled. No offense was reported.
01-18 3:38 a.m. – Noise Complaint – 100 blk. Meadowknoll, Double Oak – A caller reported a barking dog and was also concerned about possible animal mistreatment. Officer attempted contact with the animal owners and did verify that the dogs had shelter in two dog igloo houses and water available. Officer noted that neither dog appeared to be malnourished and that the temperature was 38 degrees.
01-18 10:36 a.m. – Loose Dog – 400 blk. Simmons Rd., Double Oak – A dog was observed in the roadway preventing vehicles from passing. Officer got the dog out of the roadway and contacted its owner.
01-18 7:35 p.m. –Arrest – 1100 blk. N. Hwy 377, Argyle – Double Oak Officer as cover for Argyle Officer with making a warrant arrest during a traffic stop.
01-19 2:49 a.m. – Home Invasion – 18900 blk. Comanche Rd., Denton County (near Justin) – All area units responded to reports of a home invasion with multiple suspects, firearms and shots fired. Denton County Sheriff’s Deputies had two people arrested upon Double Oak Officer arrival. A search was conducted by multiple agencies which resulted in the apprehension of one other suspect and recovery of firearms.
01-20 12:24 a.m. – Found Property – 8100 blk. Justin Rd., Double Oak – Patrol officer found money in a parking lot and placed in police property room. Please contact this agency if you know where you lost the money and in what amount (972) 355-5995.
01-21 10:45 a.m. – Burglary – 200 blk. Meadowknoll Dr., Double Oak – During the night an unknown person(s) entered complainant’s garage and removed a purse and checkbook, from an unlocked vehicle, without permission. Investigation is ongoing. If you have any information about this offense please contact the Double Oak Police Department at (972) 355-5995.
01-23 5:27 p.m. – Assist Agency – 500 blk. Old Justin Rd., Argyle – Double Oak Officer assisted Argyle with a young person who was possibly intoxicated on bath salts. The subject was transported to the hospital without incident.
01-24 2:43 p.m. – Accident – 2600 blk. Justin Rd., Bartonville – Motor vehicle collision involving two motorcycles.
01-24 8:08 p.m. – Suspicious Vehicles – 100 blk. La Vista Ln., Double Oak – A resident reported multiple cars driving very slowly down the street. Officer didn’t observe any traffic activity.
01-24 11:00 p.m. – Suspicious Circumstances – 100 blk. N. Forest Ln., Double Oak – Officer observed an open garage door and lights on inside a residence that generally is secured and without lights that late in the evening. A welfare check was conducted for the resident and it was determined that relatives were visiting.
01-24 11:29 p.m. – Disturbance – 100 blk. Dove Creek Rd., Bartonville – Officer assisted Bartonville PD as a cover unit during a disturbance amongst family members. Disturbance was verbal in nature only and quelled when one party agreed to leave the scene.
01-25 9:03 a.m. – Accident – 200 blk. Kings Rd., Double Oak – A bicyclist failed to stop at a stop sign and was struck by a turning vehicle.
01-25 12:08 p.m. – Criminal Trespass / Theft – 100 blk. Meadowknoll Dr., Double Oak – An unknown person(s) criminally trespassed into a resident’s yard and stole approximately $500 dollars in alcohol from a backyard refrigerator and counter.
01-25 1:00 p.m. – Dog At Large – 300 blk. Highland Ct., Double Oak – Officer looked for the dog and contacted animal control for Double Oak.
01-26 8:37 p.m. – Burglary In Progress – 8400 blk. Canyon Crossing, Lantana – A resident reported loud noises in the upstairs portion of their home. Dispatch had the homeowner wait outside while police responded. A search of the property was conducted and officers did not find anyone.