A teenager has been arrested in connection with a string of vehicle burglaries in Flower Mound neighborhoods last week, during which the alleged burglars were apparently butter-fingered and not especially careful when trying to sell stolen property.
Flower Mound police began investigating the burglaries during the early morning hours of Thursday, according to a Flower Mound Police Department probable cause affidavit. Multiple vehicles were reported burglarized between 11:30 p.m. Wednesday and 2 a.m. Thursday in the 3300 block of Druid Way — which is in the Glenwick Estates neighborhood just north of FM 1171 — and in the 2800 block of Wennington Drive and the 2900 block of Termaine Drive, which are located just west of FM 2499 and just north of Sagebrush Drive.
The first report came around 2 a.m. from the 2800 block of Wennington Drive, where a woman who works for the town of Flower Mound said she was awakened by a man who found her purse in the street, according to the affidavit. She checked her vehicle and found it had been burglarized, and someone had stolen a different purse and wallet — both Michael Kors brand — which contained her driver’s license, credit and debit cards and more.
About an hour later, another officer was patrolling nearby on Hasland Drive and he found a blue bag containing hand tools, a pair of sunglasses and a sunglasses case near the sidewalk, the affidavit said. The bag’s owner was identified as a man living in the 2900 block of Termaine Drive. The officer made contact with him, and he confirmed his vehicle had been broken into. The man said he was also still missing a hunting knife and some bullets. At the end of his driveway, though, the officer found several more sunglasses, reading glasses and body spray that didn’t belong to the man.
At 7:40 a.m. that morning, a woman in the 3300 block of Druid Way reported her vehicle had been burglarized and she was missing a pair of sunglasses. She had also found a gray backpack and an empty iPhone box in her yard, which turned out to belong to a neighbor in the same block, the affidavit said. That neighbor said a white laptop was missing from the backpack.
At the same time, the officer noticed a pickup in the same block that appeared to have been rummaged through, the affidavit said. The pickup’s owner said nothing appeared to be stolen, but he later found a pair of reading glasses in front of his home.
The next day, the woman whose Michael Kors purse and wallet had been stolen contacted police and said she found her purse and wallet listed for sale for $50 on Facebook Marketplace, according to the affidavit. She knew it was hers because her son’s health insurance card was visible in the wallet in one of the photos.
The ad had been posted by a 19-year-old man named Josh Popham, and police arranged a meeting with him under the pretense of purchasing the items, according to the affidavit. Popham provided an address of an apartment in the 100 block of West Hundley Drive in Lake Dallas.
Turns out, around the time of the burglaries, a different Flower Mound police officer had seen and talked to Popham one block away from the 3300 block of Druid Way, where several burglaries occurred. A sergeant on routine patrol was driving on Heather Glen Drive at 1:45 a.m. Thursday when he saw a man walking on the street. It was Popham, who told the sergeant that he was trying to get back home in Lake Dallas. The sergeant found no offense and let Popham leave. He also observed an unoccupied blue Chevrolet pickup that appeared out of place.
On Friday afternoon, detectives arrived at the address Popham provided to sell the purse and wallet, the affidavit said. While in the parking lot, they saw Popham drive the same blue Chevy pickup, park and walk upstairs into an apartment. He came back down to the pickup with two Michael Kors purses and two wallets, one of which was Michael Kors. Detectives made contact with him, and Popham did not have a driver’s license or other ID.
Popham was informed of the investigation, and he told police that he got the purses and wallets from a friend, and he didn’t know they were stolen, the affidavit said.
A subsequent search of his apartment, though, found several items from the woman’s wallet, including her son’s health insurance card and her town of Flower Mound employee ID card.
A detective then found a white laptop in the pickup, that later was proven to be the missing one that belonged to the woman in the 3300 block of Druid Way, according to the affidavit.
Police then interviewed Popham again, and he admitted to “car hopping” — committing multiple vehicle burglaries –in Flower Mound late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning in the pickup with two other men, including the same friend he said he had received the purses and wallets from.
Popham told police that they car-hopped in at least two neighborhoods. The first time they stopped, they each went to different vehicles and tried the doors, the affidavit said. Popham said he tried one door that was locked, but when he returned to the pickup, the friend had several purses and other items he’d allegedly stolen from vehicles.
They drove to another neighborhood and Popham said he stayed in the pickup until he saw a police vehicle, according to the affidavit. He got out and started walking down the street so that he wouldn’t be found in the vehicle with the stolen items. The sergeant in the police vehicle talked to him and let him go, and he walked back to the pickup. The other two men ran back to the pickup and they all left immediately.
Popham’s friend then offered Popham the Michael Kors purse and wallet for $50. Popham agreed, the affidavit said. He then tried to sell the stolen items online for the same amount he said he paid for them.
In the parking lot, Popham was arrested and a tow truck was called for the pickup. That’s when the friend Popham said stole the purses came up to the detective and asked why his truck was being towed. The detective told him to wait, but he didn’t want to wait and he got into a van being driven by his grandmother. A sergeant approached the van, but the man’s grandmother said they wouldn’t talk to him until they got an attorney.
Popham was taken to the Flower Mound Jail, and he later waived his Miranda Rights and confirmed the statements he had provided at his apartment. He said the friend who sold him the stolen purse and wallet had bragged about previous car burglaries.
Popham was charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, a state jail felony, and driving without a license. The other two men who were allegedly involved with the vehicle burglaries “remain at large” as of Tuesday morning, according to a Flower Mound police spokesman.