The Victim: Harlan Hopchik
The Crime: Criminal mischief/vandalism
Date: Tuesday, April 20
Time: 5 p.m.
Location: 10600 block of Stone Canyon

The lamppost had been decapitated.

Harlan Hopchik is perplexed. He was in his Pagewood neighborhood home and heard a loud thud in his front yard. He quickly ran toward the sound, and could not believe what he saw.

“Somebody basically just drove their car into my yard and hit the lamppost,” he says. “It looks like someone then threw the lamp off the post toward my door.”

As he left his home, he was just able to make out a car driving away. The lamppost that had been in front of his home was dislodged and broken. Hopchik says the lamp is large with concrete at the base and a metal pole out the top, providing light at night for his neighborhood. The lamp did not damage the exterior of his home, he says, but the lamp sustained considerable damage, as did a section of his yard.

“It left a divot about two feet wide. It’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen. I just can’t figure it out,” he says.

Barry Payne of the Dallas Police North Central Patrol Division says it is plausible that a thief was hoping to target the lamp for copper or other metals.

“Anything made of aluminum, copper or some other recyclable metals are targets for metal thieves. Based on the information we received on this case, the lamppost was not stolen, only damaged,” Payne says. “We don’t know if this was because the thief was scared off and did not get away with the post, or it was damaged some other way.

“It would only be speculation what happened and why without capturing a suspect to tell us.  Something like this could have been done because a neighbor didn’t like the light because it shined into his house, was trying to steal the light or any number of things. Since we don’t have a suspect, we just don’t know.”

Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Preston Hollow.