The Victim: Stacy Sims
The Crime: Burglary of a motor vehicle
Date: Tuesday, June 21
Time: 9:20 a.m.
Location: 69200 block of Inwood
Stacy Sims had a quick errand to run at the church she attends in her neighborhood. She wheeled into the parking lot and ran inside. Sims is usually good about hiding or removing any valuables, but this time left her purse behind and locked the doors. She was at church, after all, and was not gone more than three minutes.
When she returned, Sims knew she made the wrong choice. Window glass was shattered on the driver’s side, and her purse, wallet and Apple iPhone were all missing — a loss of more than $1,500.
“It was a shame-on-me lesson,” she says. “I should have known better — especially since my father-in-law is a retired Dallas police officer.”
The burglary surprised her because it happened at a church. However, Sims quickly went into action to minimize the damage and even tracked the thief’s early movements using her stolen cell phone.
“It was interesting because we watched the guys via satellite on their shopping spree via the church computers using my stolen iPhone on Apple’s Mobile Me service,” she says. “It didn’t do us any good, but was interesting to watch the phone venture through neighborhoods and parking lots and ultimately Walmart before I wiped the data. The iPhone has some interesting features to use in this sort of situation, but you are also putting yourself at risk because they can hack into the phone until you wipe the data.”
Sims, who runs a portrait photography business, cancelled her credit cards and decided to at least disappoint the crook by letting him know that further attempts to use them would be for nothing.
“I sent them a message via my phone telling them my cards were canceled, and I kept locking the phone remotely,” she adds.
Dallas Police Lt. Richard Dwyer of the North Central Patrol Division says to always lock cars and take or hide all valuables no matter where you are. A reverence for God or the afterlife is not enough to dissuade a criminal from breaking the law on church grounds.
“Offenses occur at churches here in the North Central division occasionally,” he says. “In other parts of the city, smaller neighborhood churches that cannot afford an alarm system can have three or four offenses a year.”
Simple steps can deter criminals from breaking in a car.
“Common sense would say if you had two locked cars parked next to each other, but only had time to break into one car in order to get away, which one would you choose? You would choose the vehicle that you can see has something potentially more valuable than the other car.”
vehicle burglaries along the west side of Central Expressway between Royal and Forest
business burglaries throughout Preston Hollow, including Rochester Big and Tall Men’s Clothing at Preston and Forest
road rage incident at Northwest Highway and the Dallas North Tollway in which the suspect point a 9 mm gun at someone while stopped at a traffic light
SOURCE: Dallas Police Department stats from July 10 – Aug. 10
Question of the month
It has been one year since the DPD launched iWatch Dallas, a system that allows neighbors to send police text messages about suspicious activity to 274637 rather than calling 911. Some neighbors embraced it while others weren’t terribly enthused. What have been the measurable results so far?
Since the inception of the iWatch Dallas program on Sept. 4, 2010, the Dallas Police Department has received over 1,100 tips. These tips included information regarding drug sales, prostitution complaints, locations of known fugitives, suspicious activity, and various other illegal activities. As a result of these tips, there have been approximately 50 arrests citywide. One notable success occurred during the first week of May at 7400 Northaven and involved a tip regarding suspicious behavior. Acting on the tip, the department was able to locate and shut down a marijuana grow house. Equipment and several pounds and plants of marijuana were seized. —Jesse Reyes, North Central Division Police Chief