Dallas Police Has Even More Explanation for its Response to That Whole Katy Trail Thing

Categories: Crime
You'd think armed robbers might have qualms about stealing the Virgin of Guadalupe.
The Dallas Police Department is continuing to explain away -- and maybe overcompensate for -- their initial silence concerning the armed robberies on the Katy Trail and the dozen-or-so incidents police believe they're linked to.

A pair of press releases from police hit the inbox yesterday evening, one an unusually discursive description of DPD's ongoing investigation into the Uptown robberies (which we'll get to in a moment), the second a request for the public's help in a string of -- you guessed it -- armed robberies during the past couple of weeks.

A pair of Latino men in their late teens or early 20s who drive a blacked out pickup have been snatching gold chains at gunpoint from teenagers around the intersection of Scyene Road and South Buckner Boulevard in Pleasant Grove. 

The robberies started the evening of April 26, when the men "with an unsettling stare in their eyes" punched an 18-year-old in the chest and stole his $1,500 gold chain, ripping off his T-shirt in the process. Over the next two-and-a-half weeks, they robbed four more teenagers, mostly stealing gold chains. 

In the most recent incident, which took place at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, a teenage girl was walking home from school when she was approached by one of the suspects, who was burnishing a gun. He told her he would shoot if she screamed, and grabbed a gold necklace depicting the Lady of Guadalupe.

This would typically be the point at which you'd say "But if this was North Dallas, perhaps the Katy Trail area, police would be using megaphones to tell the public there were armed robbers on the loose."

Except that, well, they didn't, at least until news reports about the robberies began appearing this week. I'll let DPD take it from here.

The Dallas Police Department vigorously investigates violent crime and makes every effort to apprehend criminals quickly to prevent future offenses.  The investigation of the robberies that have recently occurred in the Uptown and Lower Greenville areas have been no exception.   Twice during the investigation of these offenses, the Police Department had cause to believe we had either arrested or may have identified potential suspects in these offenses.  What follows is a chronology of some of the steps taken by the Police Department in an attempt to solve these robberies.


In late April, several individual robberies occurred where the suspects were identified as 2 black males in their 20's.   On April 25, 2012, a robbery occurred in the 100 block of N. Peak where detectives were able to identify a potential suspect.  On April 27th, Kenneth Smith (b/m/05-31-1991) was positively identified as the robber.  That same day, Kenneth Smith was arrested and he remains in jail on a $750,000 bond for aggravated robbery.  Subsequent to his arrest, detectives were able to obtain a search warrant and recovered property from other offenses occurring in April.  It appeared at this time, that the department had arrested one of the two individuals responsible for these robberies and was working to identify the additional suspect.


In the short period from May 4th through May 10th, another eleven robberies occurred in the Uptown and Lower Greenville areas.  Patrol officers and detectives were made aware of the robberies in an effort to locate the criminals.  On May 11th, a traffic stop was conducted in the area where the robberies were occurring.  When officers attempted to stop the car, the driver abandoned the vehicle and attempted to elude officers on foot.  The man was captured and arrested for Evading Arrest.  Circumstances occurring during the stop led patrol officers to develop a reasonable suspicion that the occupants of the vehicle may be involved in criminal activity.  The arrested person and the three passengers in the car were taken to the Central Patrol Division to be interviewed by detectives.  At that time, none of the individuals could be linked to the robbery offenses and the three passengers were released.   Investigators began to plan for photo line-ups in an effort to determine if these individuals were involved in the robberies. 


Over the weekend of May 12th, three additional offenses occurred.  The public impact of these robberies was magnified when two of them were determined to have occurred on the Katy Trail.  Prior to that occurrence, the robberies had taken place at a variety of locations with the primary common factor being a general suspect description of common race and gender.  Multiple line-ups were conducted on Monday, May 14th and Tuesday, May 15th.  At this time, no positive identifications have been made.  Detectives continue to actively investigate these offenses and additional line-ups may be shown in the future as these individuals remain persons of interest. 


To assist in the investigation, Oak Farms Dairy has offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and indictment of the suspects responsible for these crimes. 

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.

Anyone with information about this offense is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at (214)373-TIPS(8477) or the Central Investigative Unit at (214) 670-4414.  Your identity will remain anonymous.  Information can also be sent through the internet or your mobile phone by using the "iWatchDallas.net" application.

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