Police Department Should Cut Loose Information About Katy Trail Robberies

Categories: Schutze

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WFAA Channel 8 aired a story last night, reprised in this morning's Dallas Morning News, about a series of armed robberies on and around the Katy trail -- three over the weekend and five more during the previous month.

Both stories said Dallas Police had refused to comment on the attacks or to say whether they are connected, even though they sure as hell sound like they are.

There is only one reason for the cops to sit on something like this. They can't solve it. They're embarrassed. Somebody over them is embarrassed. So the warnings that could save a life go unissued.

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If you go into the woods today, you just might get a surprise.
The Katy is still a fresh bauble in the city's meager treasury of new-urban attractions, a 3.5-mile jogging/biking route from American Airlines Center to Mockingbird Station on an old railroad right-of-way built between 2000 and 2007. It is enormously popular, which makes it enormously sensitive politically at City Hall.

But it doesn't matter how popular something is. Stories like this series of gun attacks kill even very popular public venues dead in their tracks, just as if these two robber guys had stuck a pistol in the Katy Trail's face and pulled the trigger.

Look at Deep Ellum. The city's venerable blues-bar district is battling back now after a near-death experience, but only a few years ago a series of crime stories -- notably the skinhead attack on David Cuniff at the Gypsy Tea Room in 2005 (see Sarah Hepola's excellent story if you have forgotten the gory details) shot down what should have been a bulletproof urban scene.

Nothing is bulletproof. People are not bulletproof. Doing the math on that is called basic survival instinct.

I'm not saying it's the cops' fault that this is going on. The cops didn't invent bad guys. I'm saying it's a very bad sign that they're sitting on it.

The descriptions of the robbers are strangely opaque. For some reason we don't even know their ethnicity or size or dress. That's crazy. We need to see everything, right away. People need to be warned.

You hate to tell the police: SOLVE THIS CRIME. Why? You know that whole horrible gallery of exonerations we've been looking at over the last few years -- people sent off to prison for most of their lives for crimes they did not commit? That's what happens when the public tells the cops, SOLVE THIS CRIME.

They tend to do it the old-fashioned way -- by framing somebody. You think that's unfair? I repeat: Refer to the long catalog of exoneration stories. Cops are human. We have to be very careful where and how we tread on a matter like this.

But cops are political. The police department's silence on this story is political -- a reflection of something they are hearing or think they are hearing or worry they will hear from the mayor, the City Council or the city manager. That's bullshit. They need to get over it. We the public always have a right and a need to say, TELL US ABOUT THIS CRIME.

So. TELL US.


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51 comments
DPD is useless
DPD is useless

Two stolen cars and my house broke into once since I have been in Dallas. I have nothing to indicate they tried at all to find who did it. One of the cars I had to find myself.

Eric Hilton
Eric Hilton

this is better than the other. Thanks Jim.

Richard Wharton
Richard Wharton

I called in a dead guy that I found on the Katy, right after Independence Day celebrations, in the early AM of 7/5/2005.... It brought out the media, until they realized that the guy had died of a heart attack in the middle of the night. Good Ol' Phil Henderson never looked at me the same again, though. Like I'd done something wrong, or something...

Guest
Guest

I'm just happy to know that my ability to make a murder look like a heart attack worked out so well.

Jim Shitze White Guilt Libtard
Jim Shitze White Guilt Libtard

Hey Jim Shitze! Your naive white-guilt libtard "progressive advocacy" helped these crimes happen! You are partially responsible, Jim Shitze!

Mo
Mo

You are a riot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

trannyntraining
trannyntraining

Have you ever emceed any StormFront get-togethers? You really should think about it, if you haven't....

trannyntraining
trannyntraining

Folks have to be vigilant. You live in a city. In this city of over a million people, there are some, who partake in criminal activities. Some criminals commit their crimes in broad daylight....but even more and usually some of the most violent, do it at night. Watch your surroundings, trust your gut instincts, steer away from dark menacing places(alleys, trails w/bushes, etc). If you are robbed, assaulted, [insert crime]....try to get as much info you can about the assailant(s). Be careful my friends. Keep on keeping on!

GusMitchem
GusMitchem

 All you say is true, but I say, thats why I live north of the riversouth of Lovers Lane East of Inwood Road and West of Skillman

Guest
Guest

You know what would help the police solve this series of crimes faster? Spending $1 billion or more in city money to build a tollroad in the river.

Rumpunch
Rumpunch

A simple fact, criminals do not like to be shot.  Therefore, they tend to target areas such as bars and jogging trails, where people tend to be alone, distracted and either cannot or do not carry a weapon.

I stopped walking the trail for a while until I got my CHL.  I do not go looking for trouble, however I have not surrendered my enjoyment out of fear anymore.  I walk at smart times and therefore have no problems.

columbiasooner
columbiasooner

Katy Trail Area Robberiesby Dallas Police Department on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 1:17pm

The Dallas Police Department continually reviews offenses to identify crimes that appear to be committed by the same suspects.  On May 11, 2012, a Criminal Investigative Analyst identified eleven robbery offenses that may have been committed by the same suspects.  Of these offenses, four of them were committed near the Katy Trail.  This information was disseminated to officers at the Central Patrol Division to focus police presence in this area. 

At approximately 11:25pm on May 12, another robbery offense was committed by suspects matching the descriptions in the previous offenses.  Two more robberies were committed on May 13 which are also related.The suspect information is as follows:The first suspect is described as a black male, approximately 20 to 30 years old.  He is 5’8 – 6’2 tall and weighs 150-160 pounds.  He has been armed with a blue steel semi-automatic handgun.

The second suspect is described as a black male, approximately 20 to 22 years old.  His is 5’8 -5’10 tall and weighs approximately 160 pounds.  He may have a gold tooth and moles near his eyes.  He has been armed with a silver colored semi-automatic handgun. The suspect vehicle is gray/silver 4-door sedan.  The vehicle may be a Chrysler or Chevy Impala.The Central Patrol Division has initiated extra patrol along the Katy Trail which will include additional bicycle officers.  Also, members of the Violent Crime Task Force will be deployed in the area.This is an active investigation and the detectives have leads.  The Police Department must continually balance the need to inform the public against releasing information that could jeopardize the investigation and potential suspect identification.  Future apprehension could be made more difficult and dangerous if suspects are alerted to the details of the police investigation.

Members of the public traveling along the Katy Trail should be always practice the following common safety tips:Always be aware of your surroundings and people who may be approaching you. Listen to your instincts.  If you feel something is not right, make your way to a safe location and call the police.Travel with friends.Avoid becoming so distracted that you are unaware of what is happening around you.Don’t display valuables in a manner that make you an appealing target for a would be criminal. Finally, people traveling along the Katy Trail should always be aware of the call boxes locations along the trail.

Bmlshield
Bmlshield

-first suspect is described as a black male, approximately 20 to 30 years old-second suspect is described as a black male, approximately 20 to 22 years old

-vehicle may be a Chrysler or Chevy Impala

Stereotypes will be around as long as people keep fitting into them. 

Tattooedprincess333
Tattooedprincess333

The Sarah Hepola stories on the 'skinhead attack' in Deep Ellum were not excellent, they were a crock of BS. As someone who actually LIVED in Deep Ellum at the time, I assure you skinheads were not the problem. The David Cunniff incident was nothing more than a bar fight between 2 guys who had been drinking. But because Toby Shook was friends with David Cunniff and knew that he would be running for election soon and needed his name in the papers again, he jumped on it. Sarah Hepola jumped on a sensational story with little facts and look what happened - Deep Ellum nearly died and is just now coming back. I expect more from you Schutz.

Gregoriodagama
Gregoriodagama

How do you know that the "David Cunniff incident was nothing more than a bar fight between 2 guys who had been drinking."?  Were you there as an eyewitness? Have you ever spoken personally to David Cunniff and discussed with him the events of that evening?  Did you ever speak with the other person involved in the fight? Before you go off with your wild-eyed, omniscient assertions and some leap that they alone prove why Deep Ellum nearly died, you owe readers the basis of how you come to know this. Thanks.

Tattooedprincess333
Tattooedprincess333

Why yes, I have spoken to people personally involved, including eye witnesses, and even testified at the trial. Is that enough credentials for you? Do a little research. The initial story that night from people who witnessed the fight was that a guy who was half David Cunniff's size (who was not involved in the fight) had grabbed David Cunniff's teenage daughter inappropriately, and Jesse Chaddock stepped in to intervene when David Cunniff reacted. That is how the fight started, it had nothing to do with gangs or hate crimes. You may recall this happened in the midst of the fake drug scandal that  involved several police officers and the District Attorney. Ask yourself why a DA who only takes high profile death penalty cases that get him featured on American Justice was at David Cunniff's hospital room the very next morning. Maybe because they went to high school together and still saw each other at happy hours and parties? Maybe because Toby Shook knew he needed his name in the papers again because he knew he would be running for election? Again, I lived in Deep Ellum at the time and skinheads were not the problem. Yet Sarah Hepola ran with that and in doing so, played a MAJOR part in killing off Deep Ellum business as well as getting Jesse Chaddock convicted on trumped up charges. The fight had nothing to do with being a skinhead (at that point in his life he had been out for some time, yes I know personally). It was, pure and simple, a prosecutor seeking fame and glory. Furthermore, none of the people who testified about seeing the fight had matching stories, many conflicted each other. I know this from being present at the trial. The prosecution's tactic was one of fear, even going so far as to literally say that there would be a gang of skinheads waiting on the courthouse steps for retribution. On the second day of the trial the presiding judge Ron Chapman called the attorneys in to his chamber and asked if he needed protection from this gang. So you see, he had already decided that Jesse Chaddock was guilty of being in a gang (which is what he was being tried for) and was a threat. Do you really think he got a fair trial after that? That also explains why Judge Chapman didn't even bother to look up from his bench when evidence was presented. Call me crazy, but shouldn't a judge actually LOOK at evidence before admitting it? Would YOU be OK with that if you were the defendant? If you don't think there is a good ol' boy network in the Dallas criminal system, just take a look at the Innocence Project and all the prosecutorial misconduct it has revealed. Shall I go on with more of my 'wild-eyed omniscient assertions'? Or have I proven that I do know a thing or two about what actually happened? Cause my list of FACTS is LOOOOONG.... 

Tattooedprincess333
Tattooedprincess333

Clearly, cp, you really put a lot of thought into serious discussions. 

cp
cp

Blah, blah, blah.

Darrd2010
Darrd2010

You should ask Mayor Suhm why DPD is being hush mouth on this.

Infomaniac
Infomaniac

This is a symptom of a bigger problem- one that, unfortunately, leads to the Chief's office -- and from there to the City Manager's office.

This is about a philosophy of "managing" public information vs the (now) unheard of policy of actually releasing public information (hence the name "Public Information").

That's how we ended up with the Prairie Parking debacle at The Arboretum. 

The fish rots from the head.

bill marvel
bill marvel

The problem is not "managed" information.  All information is managed, by necessity. (I note that you blog under a pseudonym.) The question is who is managing the information and why. And whether that management serves the public good, and who gets to decide.

Paul
Paul

The DPD not being able to solve a crime?  This does not surprise me in the least.

I had a vehicle stolen a few years ago.  When it was finally located ( a curious homeowner who finally got po-ed enough to find a phone number on a receipt in the vehicle because it had been parked in front of their home for three weeks), DPD's first response was that I had filed a false report.

The bad thing was, the vehicle had been illegally parked for about three weeks and a DPD officer with the neighborhood patrol had driven by it twice daily for those three weeks.

Between this kind of attitude and the typical detective's attitude that it is most likely insurance fraud, I really don't have much faith in DPD.

Yes, the average beat officer is a good guy, but I don't have any faith in DPD being there when I (or somebody else) needs them.

Primi timpano
Primi timpano

Unbelievable. Never ran the plates on an illegally parked car sitting in one place. Hell, there are dash board devices that do it automatically. Repo men use them. I take it they never caught the perpertrators.

Paul
Paul

 Doubt that they even tried.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

JIM If they don't admit there is a problem there isn't a Problem !

But  how about this for a Fix ?Pedestrian projects where people are walking around require a Pedestrian Style Police force . Police People on Foot Patrol. Feet on the pavement .Walking the areas. Seeing things and being Seen might help in  prevention .

 

Primi timpano
Primi timpano

How about a couple of policewomen in designer jogger attire brandishing a handful of rolexes, rings, bracelets, and bling? If they can't use the confiscated stuff in the property room, buy the fake on harry hines.

JimS
JimS

My main problem here is that most crimnals are extremely un-creative and tend to repeat the same crime in the same area again and again untilt hey get caught. Our experience in my own neighborhood is that one shed-breaking-into stupid lawnmover thief is a crime wave until he gets caught, and then after he gets out he's a crime-wave again in the very same area. These crimes sound like that -- same two guys doing it again and again in the same area. The cops get tempted sometimes to sit on the story until they catch the guy so they won't warn the guy off,  but you arrive at a point where you are using innocent victims as bait. One way or another, somebody at City Hall needs to come clean onwhat this is.

Primi timpano
Primi timpano

You are right. In an LA suburb they are using statistical anaysis to better develop patrol patterns. Surely high tech dallas can do the same.

Montemalone
Montemalone

 The bid is out to the consultants as we speak. Once the bids are received, they'll hire another consultant to review the consultants' proposals. Once a proposal has been selected, the consultants will then begin a study to see if such a course of action is desirable, and, more importantly, if it will produce the desired results. In the interim, Council will have a closed door session to discuss giving the consultants an ongoing contract to revisit the issue after the first draft of the proposal is presented.I could go on, but my fingers are tired.

Mo
Mo

Right on brother from another mother!!! They luv them sum studies!!! 

Adsfadsf
Adsfadsf

this is a great artice (sarcasm)

JimS
JimS

great sarcam

Larry
Larry

Given the large amount of police calls, the city should sue itself to shut down the trail.  Only fair, eh.

Eyes Wide Open
Eyes Wide Open

If race is not disclosed, figure it's a "special interest member."

John_McKee
John_McKee

The robbery at 6:30 AM is really troubling to me but the two very late at night in into the morning, duh. I thought it was common knowledge that the Katy trail wasn't a very safe place to be in the middle of the night.

Montemalone
Montemalone

 The details I read were that this weekend's heists occured on Buena Vista, Travis, and Routh. Not on the actual trail. These are neighborhood streets, in front of peoples' homes.

I think a description of the vehicle and the perps would be good to distribute.I live a couple streets away from the trail, use it daily, and just this morning saw a police car cruising slowly down Lee, turning onto Buena Vista, and down the street.They seem to be looking for something.

Ben
Ben

You can look it up yourself using the Dallas Police Department website....

http://policereports.dallaspol...

http://policereports.dallaspol...

If you know the "beat" or "reporting area" you can look up a history of crime in the area.

During daylight hours, after work on a weeknight there are uniformed police on bikes plus quite a few off duty police officers I recognize just out for a run. Very safe with other people around.

Really, the Katy Trail gets pretty spooky when the lights go out after 10pm. Lots of shadows, people standing in those shadows, people that don't look like they are out for a jog. Nothing good happens there after 10pm. People mention the tragic cyclist/jogger wreck of a couple years ago. But what about the Katy Trail Slasher. The Katy Trail Slasher box cuttered some woman up in some late night incident out there. That creepy dude was always out on the Katy Trail lounging on the benches trying to chat up chicks. No one knew he had a rap sheet a mile long, a violent one. Till he cut that woman up on the Katy Trail.

cp
cp

That is the stupidest thing I've ever read. Lots of Dallas parks are "bolstered" by private Friends groups. 

CheeryBitch
CheeryBitch

It's owned by the City of Dallas, but it's maintenance if paid for by The Friends of Katy Trail. From their email: "Although the Katy Trail is owned by the City of Dallas, the annual upkeep of this beautiful park depends on private funds. The Friends of the Katy Trail raises money for the Trail’s annual maintenance through private donations (from memberships and corporate sponsorships), Annual Support Campaign, and the annual Katy 5k. This includes trail maintenance, lights and extra off-duty police patrols"

Eric Hilton
Eric Hilton

Yeah it's dallas owned. It just gets bolstered by a lot of private money... that's why it's nice. 

GusMitchem
GusMitchem

Yea this has nothing to do with the City of Dallas parks

KT is not a City of Dallas park, that is why its nice

ChrisYu
ChrisYu

Friends of the Katy Trail fund the lighting, i think mostly private donations paid for the installation

JimS
JimS

Maybe they need infographics that would come on around 2 am saying, "RUN FASTER!!!"

Dallas_Joe_Schmo
Dallas_Joe_Schmo

Lights go out at all Dallas Parks at that time.  Time to leave, time to go home.  If you are there after 10, you should be aware that you are subject to stops and searches.  Problem is, the cops are off doing other things rather than patrolling the area to see if anyone has stayed behind.

Guest
Guest

To encourage people to leave?  It's the only reason I can think of that makes sense.  But it isn't like the trail would be safe at 1:30 am with the lights on. 

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

 So why do the lights go out at 10:00 ?

No , Really why ?

John_McKee
John_McKee

I've lived on McKinney Ave for around 7 years now and as much as I love the area and it generally looks and feels safe it's best not to be walking around late at night especially off of McKinney which at least has the benefit of cameras and cops regularly driving by.

I'll rarely stumble home from Cedar Springs early in the morning but even then I know it is a serious lapse in judgement from my booze clouded mind but generally speaking after about 2:30AM when the streets have cleared I stay inside. I've made a few emergency trips to Walgreens before but I always tell my doorman that I am walking to Walgreens and if I'm not back in a reasonable amount of time to call the police because something's happened to me.

Lakewooder
Lakewooder

It's an affluent area. Perhaps a disgruntled butler.

Max from the Sandspit
Max from the Sandspit

Nah- The ladies bridge club at DCC is gettin' bored of tea and crumpets. What with the cancellation of GCB can't blame-um.

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