A jury on Thursday found Wayne Alan Watson guilty of three counts of armed bank robbery, the verdict coming after a three-day trial in the Eastern District of Texas, according to a news release from the court.
Watson was found guilty of robbing the City Credit Union in Gainesville on Oct. 16, the Altra Federal Credit Union in Tyler on Dec. 1 and the Texoma Educators Federal Credit Union in Denison on Dec. 19, according to the court.
Additional robberies in Austin and Wichita Falls in January led to Watson being identified as the serial robber, according to the news release.
On January 17th the Legend Bank branch located at Kemp and Kell was robbed at gunpoint by a white male. The suspect was quickly discovered to be a serial bank robber operating in the Central and North Texas area. Multiple investigators from across the state, as well as federal agencies, were working on the case and sharing information.
Detectives from the Wichita Falls Police Department Crimes Against Persons Unit identified the suspect during their follow up investigation of the Legend Bank robbery. The suspect was identified as Watson. Further investigation identified Watson as the subject who robbed the Carter’s Department Store, located on Lawrence Road on November 29, 2017.
On Tuesday, February 13th at approximately 5:45 am Detectives with the Wichita Falls Police Department, in cooperation with The FBI, Texas Rangers, Tarrant County Sherriff’s Office and the Texas DPS SWAT Team, executed a search warrant in the 400 block of Isbell Ct. in Ft Worth, Texas at which time Watson was initially taken into custody for the aggravated robbery at Carter’s.
It was during this search that investigators located evidence that linked Watson to multiple bank robberies across the state to include the Legend Bank.
As part of National Preparedness Month, the Wichita Falls Police Department wants to encourage you to learn skills that could help to save your life and the lives of those around you in the event of a disaster.
Remember you are the help until help arrives! Depending on the severity of a disaster, it may take days or even weeks for government resources to reach you. You may have to rely on your family and neighbors.
Which of these life saving skills do you know?
-I know first aid & CPR
-I know how to use a fire extinguisher
-I know how to shut of utilities for my home
-I know which types of natural disasters may impact my community and am adequately prepared for these events
You can find more information about life saving skills here: https://www.ready.gov/safety-skills. If there are other skills you’d like to recommend to your neighbors, or if you know of resources available to help your neighbors build these skills, please reply in the comments.
On Saturday, September 8th, at approximately 11:15 pm officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department responded to a report of a large fight outside of the Deep End Bar located in the 5100 block of Jacksboro Hwy.
Upon arrival officers observed a black vehicle leaving the parking lot at a high rate of speed. Believing the occupants of the vehicle may have been a part of the disturbance officers initiated a stop of the vehicle. The vehicle was found to be occupied by five adult males. The males were later identified as 21 year old Jaquaveon Pope (back left passenger), 21 year old Devonte Perez (driver), 20 year old Deonte Greer (front seat passenger), 21 year old Marlon Edwards (back middle passenger) and 20 year old Charleston Denman (back right passenger).
While officers were standing outside of the vehicle they could smell the odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle. When they looked inside the car through the open windows they could see very small pieces of a green substance that appeared to be marijuana. The green substance was strewn throughout the car, on the occupants clothing, on bags in the car, on the center console and on the sides of the doors. Several of the subjects were also covered in mud and admitted to being part of the disturbance that had occurred in the parking lot.
During the course of the investigation officers recovered 0.11 ounces of a substance that rendered a positive for marijuana using a field test kit. Officers also located a loaded handgun under the passenger side of the vehicle. When officers reviewed the video from the in-car camera they could see what appeared to be the front seat passenger, Greer, open his car door, stick his foot out the door and then reach his hand under the vehicle.
All subjects were arrested and transported to the Wichita County jail without incident where they were charged with possession of marijuana. Greer was also charged with unlawful carrying of a weapon.
September is National Preparedness Month.
Disasters don’t plan ahead, but you can! The Wichita Falls Police Department encourages you to take the following steps to make sure you, your family, and your neighbors are ready.
1. Create an emergency plan. Put together a plan with your family and your neighbors by discussing these questions. What is your shelter plan? What is your evacuation route? What is your communication plan?
2. Consider the specific needs of your family and your neighbors. Does anyone have special dietary and/or medical needs? What will you do with your pets? Are there people in your neighborhood with disabilities?
3. Review your emergency plan with your family and share it with your neighbors on Nextdoor.
4. Practice your plan with your family and your neighbors.
In the event of an emergency, the Wichita Falls Police Department will use Nextdoor, along with other communication tools, to keep your neighborhood as informed as possible.
If you haven’t done so already, consider inviting more of your neighbors to join by having Nextdoor send postcard invitations to your nearby neighbors. You can find instructions for doing so here: http://bit.ly/NextdoorPostcards. You can find more resources here: https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan.
Today, at approximately 4:00 am, officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department were dispatched to the 4500 block of Jacksboro Hwy to United Express in reference to a burglar alarm at that location.
Upon arrival officers observed that the rear drive-thru window of the business had been opened and coins and cigarettes were scattered on the ground near the window.
Officers were given additional information by WFPD dispatch that they were receiving location alerts from a cash bag that had been equipped with a tracking device that had been taken from the store. The tracker indicated that the bag was in the 1500 block of South Winds.
Officers responded to that area and located a subject who was later identified as 45 year old Stephen Maxwell in the backyard of a resident in the 4500 block of Westridge. This address is in close proximity to the 1500 block of South Winds. Officers observed Maxwell to be in possession of a grey cash bag that contained two twenty dollar bills and multiple decoy bills that had the tracking device mixed in with them. Stephens also had in his possession pliers, screwdrivers, a pick and gloves.
Maxwell was arrested and transported to the Wichita County jail where he was charged with burglary and criminal trespass.
The Wichita Falls Police Department is pleased to announce the opening of its Safe Exchange Zone. The Safe Exchange Zone provides a safe environment for people, who buy, sell, or trade items in private party transactions, with people they don’t know. Additionally, the area can be used as a safe and neutral site for child custody exchanges
The Safe Exchange Zone is located in the back parking lot of the Wichita Falls Police Department at 610 Holliday, Wichita Falls, TX. The Safe Exchange Zone consists of two parking spaces marked with yellow striping, are marked with a Safe Exchange Zone signage and are under 24 hour surveillance video.
The goal of the Safe Exchange Zone is to help reduce and deter fraudulent transactions, thefts, violent custody disputes and robberies.
A few safety tips in regards to private party transactions:
- Only conduct transactions with local buyers/sellers
• Insist on meeting at the Safe Exchange Zone or at least a public place
• Do not invite strangers into your home, and do not go to theirs
• Take your cell phone with you
• Tell a friend or family member about your intentions and when and where and with whom you are meeting
• Complete transactions during daylight hours
• Be extra cautious in buying/selling valuable items
• Trust your instincts and be cautious of scams
The exchange of drugs, weapons, alcohol, and/ or any illegal items is not permitted. The employees of the Wichita Falls Police Department cannot act as an official witness to transactions, do not give legal advice, and will not settle civil disputes related to any transactions. The City of Wichita Falls or its employees are not responsible in any way for the value, authenticity, or legitimacy of such transactions. All exchanges must be person-to-person. In the case of custody transfers, the Safe Exchange Zone is not a drop-off area where parents can leave children for a later pick-up time. The Safe Exchange Zone parking spaces are available free on a first-come, first-served basis.
Update: On Wednesday September 5th at 12:30 pm Jeannine Humphris was located in an unimproved area in the 4300 block of Barnett. She was transported to the hospital for medical evaluation.
The WFPD would like to thank everyone who called in with tips. And a special thank you to Eddie Hills Fun Cycles and Chad Wilson for the use of their ATV’s which were instrumental in the location of Ms. Humphris and to Sam’s Club for their donation of water, gatorade and snacks for those involved in the search.
The Wichita Falls Police Department is currently investigating a missing persons report and is asking the public for their help.
76 year old white female Jeannine Humphris was last seen in the 4800 block of Shenandoah on September 3rd at approximately 6:00 pm. She is described as 5’04”, 140 pounds, gray short straight hair, hazel eyes and was last seen possibly wearing a white sweater and blue jeans.
If you have any information on her location you are asked to call police at (940) 720-5000.
WFPD’s Gang Task Force and Tactical Unit served an Aggravated Assault warrant on the 2nd shooter from Sunday’s Studio E incident, 32 year old Demetrion Combs, late this afternoon at a residence in the 1100 blk of 14th Street. Combs has been booked into the Wichita County Jail.
UPDATED: Strawn is now in custody. He turned himself in to WFPD officers this afternoon.
Wanted for Murder in connection with the shooting at the Studio E Club in the 2400 blk of Sheppard Access Rd on 08-26-18. He should be considered Armed and Dangerous.
Trayvon Martease Strawn
B/M, 12/08/93, 501/140, Blk/Bro
Warrant – Murder $750,000.00
Warrant – Aggravated Assault $200,000.00
Warrant – Aggravated Assault $200,000.00
Anyone with any information is being asked to contact us at (940)761-7762 or you can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at (940)322-9888.
On Thursday, August 23rd, officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department executed a narcotics search warrant in the 600 block of Central Freeway.
During the search officers located and seized approximately 30 grams of a substance that was field tested and rendered a positive for methamphetamine.
Three subjects were arrested and transported to the Wichita County jail without incident where they were charged with manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance in penalty group one: 38 year old Maury Gregoire, 38 year old Candace Bell and 27 year old Jasmine Keefer.