Holiday Safety Tips

thanksgiving (1)With Thanksgiving just a couple of days away the Wichita Falls Police Department would like to remind everyone of a few safety tips to help make this time more enjoyable.

If you are traveling:

  • Please give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination.
  • Do not drive tired.  If you become drowsy, find a safe place to stop and take a break.
  • Always, wear your safety belt.
  • Be prepared to slow down.  The road conditions can quickly change due to weather or traffic congestion.

If you are shopping:

  • Always, be mindful of your surroundings.
  • Lock your car; Take your keys; Hide your belongings.
  • If you are shopping at night, try to park in well-lighted areas.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Keep a record of all your credit card numbers and contact your credit card company immediately if one is stolen.

At home:

  • If you are going to be gone for an extended period of time have a neighbor collect your mail.
  • Have various inside lights on multiple timers.
  • Ensure that all your doors and windows are locked and secured.
  • If someone knocks at your door that you do not know you Do Not have to answer it.

These are just a few simple crime prevention techniques that can help ensure that everyone has a safe and happy holiday season.

10 tips for using ATMs safely

Man using his credit card in an atm for cash withdrawalHere are our top 10 ATM safety tips. Please take a moment to read and share with neighbors, friends, and family.

  1. Always pay close attention to the ATM and your surroundings. Don’t select an ATM at the corner of a building — corners create a blind spot. Use an ATM located near the center of a building. Do your automated banking in a public, well-lighted location that is free of shrubbery and decorative partitions or dividers.
  2. Maintain an awareness of your surroundings throughout the entire transaction. Be wary of people trying to help you with ATM transactions. Be aware of anyone sitting in a parked car nearby. When leaving an ATM, make sure you are not being followed. If you are, drive or walk immediately to a police or fire station, or to a crowded, well-lighted location or business. If you feel you are in danger, call 911!
  3. Do not use an ATM that appears unusual looking or offers options with which you are not familiar or comfortable.
  4. Do not allow people to look over your shoulder as you enter your PIN. Memorize your PIN; never write it on the back of your card. Do not re-enter your PIN if the ATM eats your card — contact a bank official.
  5. Do not wear expensive jewelry or take other valuables to the ATM. This is an added incentive to the assailant.
  6. Never count cash at the machine or in public. Wait until you are in your car or another secure place.
  7. When using a drive-up ATM, keep your engine running, your doors locked and leave enough room to maneuver between your car and the one ahead of you in the drive-up line.
  8. Maintain a supply of deposit envelopes at home or in your car. Prepare all transaction paperwork prior to your arrival at the ATM. This will minimize the amount of time spent at the machine.
  9. Closely monitor your bank statements, as well as your balances, and immediately report any problems to your bank.
  10. If you are involved in a confrontation with an assailant who demands your money, COMPLY.

Local Man Arrested for Aggravated Robbery at Target

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Luis Barron

On Tuesday, November 13th, at approximately 9:45 pm officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department were dispatched to the 4300 block of Kemp to Target for a possible aggravated robbery.  Upon arrival they spoke with a store employee who stated that a subject came into the store and put several items in a shopping cart.  The suspect then displayed a handgun to a store employee prior to walking out of the store without paying for the items. The suspect was last seen walking southbound from the store.

Officers were able to look at security video and observed a suspect vehicle.  A check on the vehicle lead officers to an address in the 4100 block of Weeks Park to the Arbor Creek apartments.  Officers attempted to make contact with the resident.  They observed that the apartment was occupied however no one would open the door, at which time Detectives with the WFPD were able to obtain a search warrant for the residence.

The WFPD SWAT team and Negotiators were called out to assist in the serving of the warrant.  After a brief standoff officers were able to take into custody without incident 31 year old Luis Barron.

He was transported to the Wichita County jail where he was charged with aggravated robbery.

Occupied Vehicle Check Leads to a Subject Arrested on Multiple Felony Charges

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Justin Davis

On Tuesday, November 13th, at approximately 7:00 am officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department were dispatched to the 1200 block of Central Fwy to the Exxon gas station in reference to an occupied vehicle check.  The reporting party believed that there were two subjects, a white male and a black male, in a silver Dodge Ram with a U-Haul trailer attached attempting to sell stolen property.

Upon arrival officers located the vehicle and the two subjects.  The white male was identified as 35 year old Justin Davis.  As officers began investigating it was determined that the Dodge pickup was stolen out of New Mexico. As officers attempted to place Davis into custody he attempted to flee from officers as well as resist them.  Officers deployed their Taser at which time he was taken into custody without further incident.

Officers located a handgun under the driver seat of the vehicle.  A check on the firearm revealed that it was stolen out of New Mexico as well.  Officers mirandized Davis at which time he advised officers he had stolen both the vehicle and the firearm.  Davis also advised officers that he had just met the black male that was there and that he had no knowledge of the theft.  After a check on the subject he was released at the scene.

Further investigation revealed that the U-Haul trailer had been stolen out of Oklahoma and Davis was in possession of 8.87 grams of a substance that rendered a positive field test for methamphetamine which he attempted to destroy while on scene.

Davis was transported to the Wichita County jail where he was charged with manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance, theft of a firearm, unlawful possession of a firearm , theft, tampering with evidence, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, resisting and evading.

Driver of Stolen Vehicle Attempts to Evade Police: Arrested on Multiple Charges

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Jessie Greek

On Wednesday, November 7th, at approximately 8:00 pm officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department observed a stolen vehicle, a 2012 black Tacoma pickup,  being driven northbound on Henry S. Grace.  As officers began to follow, the driver of the vehicle began to flee at a high rate of speed.

The driver of the vehicle, who was later identified as 36 year old Jessie Greek, attempted to evade officers in the area of 33rd Street.  Greek exited the moving vehicle in the 2200 block of Holliday Rd and began to evade police on foot prior to officers taking him into custody.

A records check on Greek revealed that he had multiple warrants for his arrest to include Federal and State warrants.

A search of the vehicle revealed property that had recently been taken in two vehicle burglaries that occurred earlier in the 4300 block of Kell West Blvd.

Greek was transported to the Wichita County jail without further incident where he was charged with multiple counts of evading, multiple counts of burglary of a vehicle, and numerous warrants.

WFPD Sees an Increase in Vehicle Burglaries

tlhThe Wichita Falls Police Department has seen an increase in vehicle burglaries.  The WFPD would like to remind people that one of the best ways to help prevent from becoming a victim of vehicle burglary is to simply lock your vehicles,  and a special reminder to not leave unsecured firearms in your vehicle.

Take, Lock, Hide. The basic crime fighting tool to help reduces vehicle burglaries.

  • Lock your vehicle. It takes seconds to break a window, but doing so makes noise – and criminals hate making noise.
  • Hide valuables from sight, or take items with you. If a criminal doesn’t see anything, they’re less likely to break in, and will move on.
  • Park in areas that are not secluded. Well lit parking lots, with good “sight lines”, make it more likely your vehicle is visible to the general public.
  • Aftermarket car stereos; consider models with removable face plates. Take the face plate with you when your leave your vehicle.
  • Record serial numbers of property you may leave inside your vehicle. If stolen, it makes it more likely the suspect, if he tries to pawn, will be identified.

There is no 100% fool-proof way to prevent all crime. You can make yourself less likely to be a victim of a burglary. Simply locking your vehicle and removing property from inside is half the battle.

Bus Stop Safety

6VW35IYZPVFQRMFA2GVVUJG3WYWith the ending of Daylight Saving Time on Sunday, November 4th, clocks will be set back an hour.  With this adjustment it will cause some students to have to wait for the school bus in the dark. Because of that the Wichita Falls Police Department would like to remind students, parents and drivers of a few bus stop safety tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Bus Stop Safety

The greatest risk to your child is not riding a bus, but approaching or leaving one. Before your child goes back to school or starts school for the first time, it’s important for you and your child to know traffic safety rules. Teach your child to follow these practices to make school bus transportation safer.

FOR PARENTS

Safety Starts at the Bus Stop

Your child should arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. Visit the bus stop and show your child where to wait for the bus: at least three giant steps (six feet) away from the curb. Remind your child that the bus stop is not a place to run or play.

Get On and Off Safely

When the school bus arrives, your child should wait until the bus comes to a complete stop, the door opens, and the driver says it’s okay before approaching the bus door. Your child should use the handrails to avoid falling.

Use Caution Around the Bus

Your child should never walk behind a school bus. If your child must cross the street in front of the bus, tell him/her to walk on a sidewalk or along the side of the street to a place at least five giant steps (10 feet) in front of the bus before crossing. Your child should also make eye contact with the bus driver before crossing to make sure the driver can see him/her. If your child drops something near the school bus, like a ball or book, the safest thing is for your child to tell the bus driver right away. Your child should not try to pick up the item, because the driver might not be able to see him/her.

FOR DRIVERS

Make school bus transportation safer for everyone by following these practices:

  • When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch out for children walking or bicycling to school.
  • When driving in neighborhoods with school zones, watch out for young people who may be thinking about getting to school, but may not be thinking of getting there safely.
  • Slow down. Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in neighborhood.
  • Watch for children playing and congregating near bus stops.
  • Be alert. Children arriving late for the bus may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
  • Learn and obey the school bus laws in your State, as well as the “flashing signal light system” that school bus drivers use to alert motorists of pending actions:
    • Yellow flashing lights indicate the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.
    • Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate the bus has stopped and children are getting on or off. Motorists must stop their cars and wait until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop-arm is withdrawn, and the bus begins moving before they can start driving again.

 

WFPD Traffic Stop Leads to Narcotics Arrest

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Brandie Allen

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Anna Pierce

On Monday, October 29th, at approximately 4:15 pm officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department conducted a traffic stop on a silver Chrevrolet Malibu in the area of Southwest Pky and Barnett Rd.  The vehicle was occupied by the driver who was identified as 29 year old Brandie Allen.  The front seat passenger first identified herself as 26 year old Anna McLaughlin but it was later determined that her real name was Anna Pierce.

A records check revealed that both subjects had warrants for their arrest. Both subjects were placed into custody for the warrants.

Due to the fact that the warrant Allen had for her arrest was a narcotic related warrant a search of the vehicle was conducted.  During the search officers located inside the center armrest of the vehicle a clear plastic bag that contained a white crystal like substance that rendered a positive result when field tested for methamphetamine.  The total weight of the substance was 12.3 grams.

Both Allen and Pierce were transported to the Wichita County jail without incident where they were booked in on their outstanding warrants and for manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance in penalty group one. Pierce was also charged with failure to identify.

Re-packaging Identity Theft scam

Scam AlertThe Wichita Falls Police Department’s Financial Crimes Unit would like to inform people of the dangers of a re-packaging Identity Theft scam.

An individual(s) will compromise the victim’s identity and begin to purchase items in their name.  Often times they will have the items that were fraudulently purchased shipped to the victim’s address.  The suspects will then track the packages and when they are delivered/left at the victim’s home the suspect(s) will then simply go up and take the packages.  Often times the victim will never know their identity has been compromised until it is too late.

If you believe that you are the victim of identity theft or have any information regarding possible suspects involved in identity theft you are encouraged to contact the WFPD at 720-5000.

You can get a free credit report by going to FTC.gov – https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0155-free-credit-reports?utm_source=takeaction

You can also file an identity theft report at https://www.identitytheft.gov/?utm_source=takeaction

This is a serious situation which occurs on a daily basis all over the United States. Take it seriously and check your information.

Halloween Safety Tips

halloween-safety-tips-header2It’s almost Halloween and that means kids will be out Trick-or-Treating.  Here are some safety tips to help make the night more enjoyable for everyone:

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Swords, knives, and other costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.

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Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.

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Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.

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Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.

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Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. Always WALK and don’t run from house to house.

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Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.

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Look both ways before crossing the street. Use established crosswalks wherever possible.

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Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.

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Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.

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Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.

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Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.

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Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses. Never accept rides from strangers.

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Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.