Two Arrested for Aggravated Kidnapping

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Justin Harmon

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Jesse Olvera

On Sunday, February 17th at approximately 11:35 pm Officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department were dispatched to the 1700 block of Grandview W. in reference to a disturbance involving a handgun.

Upon arrival officers spoke with the reporting party who stated that 21 year old Justin Harmon and 20 year old Jesse Olvera had called him from his sister’s phone and advised him that he had 30 minutes to be in Iowa Park or they would kill his sister. The reporting party stated he owed Harmon $500.

Harmon and Olvera went to an address in the 1700 block of Grandview W. to find the reporting party to collect Harmon’s money. Harmon and Olvera arrived at the residence and discovered the reporting party was not there, but the victim was. Harmon and Olvera told the victim to get in their vehicle. Harmon and Olvera displayed a handgun. The victim stated she was in fear for her life and got into the vehicle against her will. It was at this time that Harmon called the reporting party.

Officers contacted the Iowa Park Police Department and made them aware of the situation.  Officers with the Iowa Park PD made contact with Harmon, Olvera, and the victim on Magnolia St in Iowa Park. Officers spoke with the victim and she stated multiple times that she was in fear for her life and that Harmon and Olvera had forced her to drive to Iowa Park.

Both Harmon and Olvera were taken into custody and transported to the Wichita County jail where they were charged with aggravated kidnapping.

Beware of Tax Scams

taxscams+irsIt’s that time of year again and tax time is fast approaching.  With that it mind the scammers will be out in full force attempting to steal your money and identity.

Scammers  will  try  to convince you to pay them money for owed taxes or requesting payment (money up front) for a tax return.  They may even ask for personal information to “verify” your identity so they can complete their offer to help.

Like before, scammers are going to use threats such as you have a warrant for your arrest and the police are coming to get you, or they are watching your house.  These are all false and should be reported to the police and  IRS as soon as possible.

Thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams. Scammers use the regular mail, telephone, or email to set up individuals, businesses, payroll and tax professionals.

The IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. Recognize the telltale signs of a scam. See also: How to know it’s really the IRS calling or knocking on your door

Local McDonald’s to host Coffee with a Cop event.

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On Friday, February 22nd,  officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department and community members will come together in an informal, neutral space to discuss community issues, build relationships and drink coffee.

All  members of the community are invited to attend. The event will be Friday, February 22nd  from 7:30 am to 8:30 am  at McDonald’s, located at 1412 Holliday St. Coffee with a Cop provides a unique opportunity for community members to ask questions and learn more about their department and officers.

The majority of contacts law enforcement has with the public occur  during emergencies, or emotionally stressful times. Those situations are not always the most effective times for relationship building. Some community members may even feel that officers are unapproachable on the street. Coffee with a Cop breaks down those barriers and allows for a relaxed, one-on-one interaction.

We hope that community members will feel comfortable to ask questions, bring concerns, or simply get to know our officers.  These interactions are the foundation of community partnerships.

The program aims to advance the practice of community policing through improving relationships between police officers and community members one cup of coffee at a time.

Coffee with a Cop is a national initiative supported by The United States Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

 

WFPD Bags BBQ Belt Bandits

Hankins

Shawn Hankins

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Michael Lewis

Today at approximately 10:00 am officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department were dispatched to the 1200 block of 13th to Prine’s BBQ in reference to a possible aggravated robbery.

Upon arrival they spoke with the victim who stated that a white male wearing a grey hooded sweater with tattoos on his neck came into the business and displayed what he believed to be a handgun and demanded money.  The victim advised that they did not have any to give him.  The suspect then fled the scene on foot with another white male who was described as wearing a green jacket.

A witness told officers that two males matching the description of the suspects were seen running into a vacant house near 13th and Burnett. Officers responded to an address in the 1300 block of Burnett and located two subjects matching the suspect descriptions.  One of the subjects who was identified as 39 Year old Shawn Hankins told officers, “I tried to rob Prine’s.”  The second suspect was identified as 44 year old Michael Lewis.  Hankins stated to police that he had rolled up a belt and placed it in his waist band to appear as if it were a handgun.

Both subjects were arrested and transported to the Wichita County jail without incident where they were charged with aggravated robbery and criminal trespass.

WFPD Arrests Man for Threatening His Neighbor With Dogs and a Shotgun

Scanlin

Michael Scanlin

On Monday, February 4th, at approximately 3:15 pm officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department were dispatched to the 600 block of Sunset in reference to a disturbance.  Upon arrival officers spoke to the victim who stated that a neighbor, who was later identified as 18 year old Michael Scanlin, threatened to attack the victim with dogs and a shotgun.

The victim stated that he had a heated argument with his neighbor, Scanlin.  Scanlin and another subject went inside Scanlin’s residence only to return outside a few minutes later with their large dogs.  The victim said that Scanlin and his friend walked the dogs into the middle of the street in front of his house while threatening to let them loose on him. The victim said that he had two dogs himself who ran off of the porch and he had to grab them.

The victim advised police that he felt threatened by Scanlin so he grabbed a large flashlight and walked out into his yard to defend himself. That`s when Scanlin ran back across the street to his residence and got a shotgun. Scanlin began waiving the shotgun around threatening to kill the victim.

While speaking with officers Scanlin made the comment that he told the victim to come out to the street and fight.

Scanlin was arrested and transported to the Wichita County jail without incident where he was charged with aggravated assault.

WFPD Proudly Celebrating Black History Month

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WFPD Officers Jessie Mathis and Willard Boyd displaying trophies they earned from a regional shooting competition.

The men and women of the Wichita Falls Police Department proudly celebrates Black History Month.   We salute all the brave men and women that came before us for their actions that contributed to the advancement of our nation’s history.

We take this time to remember the service of two of Wichita Falls finest; Officers Jessie Mathis and Willard Boyd.

Officer Mathis was the first African-American Police Officer for the WFPD.  He graduated from the 4th WFPD Police Academy in April 1958.

Officer Willard Boyd graduated from the 5th WFPD Police Academy in October 1958.

Join us as we remember both of these Officers for their fine service and sacrifice to this community.

WFPD Releases 2019 1st Quarter TxDOT Comprehensive STEP Grant Stats

636210405772280198-WFPD-STEPThe largest portion of traffic safety funding from TxDOT is used for the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) projects, which pay for overtime activities by local law enforcement to reduce the incidence of speeding, driving while intoxicated, failure to use occupant restraint systems, and intersection traffic control violations. Organizations eligible for STEP funds include the Texas Department of Public Safety (TXDPS), sheriff’s offices, constable’s offices and community police departments.

The Wichita Falls Police Department has finalized the 1st Quarter FY 2019 (October – December 2018) TxDOT Comprehensive STEP Grant Stats:

Adult Seatbelt Citations – 68
Child Safety Seats – 6
Intersection Violations – 83
Speeding – 438
Distracted Driving (Cell Phones) – 19 
Other Violations – 152
Arrests – 6
Vehicles Impounded – 14
Hours Worked – 307.5
Miles Driven – 2,513

Join Us On Nextdoor.com

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So far, over 9,000 Wichita Falls residents have joined the Wichita Falls Police Department on Nextdoor.com to get to know their neighbors and to take a stand against crime.  Are you one of them?  If not, please visit http://www.nextdoor.com and sign up. It’s free and simple.  Iphone and Android apps are also available.

Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Here is what Nextdoor.com is all about:

Nextdoor is the private social network for you, your neighbors and your community. It’s the easiest way for you and your neighbors to talk online and make all of your lives better in the real world. And it’s free.

Thousands of neighborhoods nationwide are already using Nextdoor to build happier, safer places to call home.

People are using Nextdoor to:

  • Quickly get the word out about a break-in.
  • Organize a neighborhood watch group.
  • Track down a trustworthy babysitter.
  • Find out who does the best paint job in town.
  • Ask for help keeping an eye out for a lost dog.
  • Find a new home for an outgrown bike.
  • Finally call that nice man down the street by his first name.

Nextdoor’s mission is to use the power of technology to build stronger and safer neighborhoods.

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Forward to Police Feature

As Wichita Falls residents continue to use technology to communicate and
collaborate with each other, we are always looking for ways to innovate and make our relationship even stronger and Nextdoor helps facilitate that.  As a proactive and innovative agency, we are constantly finding ways to help make Wichita Falls’ neighborhoods even stronger and safer places to call home for our
residents.
A few months ago, we were excited to announce that we launched “Forward to Police”, a new feature on Nextdoor that allowed residents to send crime and safety information directly to the police department with a click of a button.  This new feature is allowing our department to better communicate with residents about topics of concern in their neighborhood on Nextdoor:
  • Forward to Police is an excellent way to help our department continue to stay informed
  • about the things that matter most to Wichita Falls neighborhoods and work more closely with our residents.
  • With Forward to Police, Wichita Falls residents are able to forward their Crime & Safety posts and Urgent Alerts on Nextdoor directly to the Wichita Falls Police Department.
  • It’s important to note that the Wichita Falls Police Department cannot access residents’ websites, contact information, or content, unless it is a Crime and Safety post or Urgent Alert that is forwarded to them via Forward to Police.
  • The Forward to Police feature is not an emergency reporting system. Residents are encouraged to call 911 in the case of an emergency.
Nextdoor has already been a successful communications tool for the Wichita Falls Police
Department. We look forward to our residents using Forward to Police as yet another tool
to connect with us and work together to make Wichita Falls an even better place to call home.
We partnered with Nextdoor in 2015 to help improve city-wide and
neighbor-to-neighbor communications. This is yet another way to use Nextdoor to
garner valuable feedback from our residents. We have always invested in crime prevention efforts and we are excited that Nextdoor will enable more residents across Wichita Falls to easily participate in a modern,virtual neighborhood watch. Forward to Police will help us identify residents’ concerns around crime and safety across Wichita Falls and work with residents to address them.
Join Nextdoor Today!!!

Have a Safe & Happy New Year

Fireworks explosion. Happy new year 2019 event banner. Pyrotechnics sparks. Festive firework celebration vector backgroundAs we get closer to celebrating New Year, the Wichita Falls Police Department would like to remind everyone of the City Ordinance prohibiting the use or possession of fireworks.

The possession of all fireworks is illegal in the city limits of Wichita Falls. If you are found to be in possession of or discharging fireworks you can be subject to a fine. It is important that the public recognize the potential dangers in the use and handling of fireworks.

Please celebrate the New Year safely and responsibly!  Here are some other safety tips for the holiday:

  • The consequences of drunk driving are devastating. If you do drink, please have a designated driver and make those plans ahead of time.
  • Try to avoid being on the road between the hours of 8pm – 2am. Auto accidents due to alcohol consumption are the highest during that time.
  • Take the keys if you have a friend who is too drunk to get behind the wheel. Help your friend with a ride home.
  • If you are hosting a party make sure your guests have a designated driver or a way to take them home from your party.

Have a happy and safe New Year!

Planning to travel this holiday season? Check out our 4 travel safety tips!

christmas car travel- happy kids travel in winter natureAAA estimates that 1 in 3 Americans will be traveling this holiday season. If you’re one of those people who will be hitting the road, we encourage you to take a few minutes to review these safety tips:

1. Make sure your home is secure. If you have an alarm system, check the batteries, and don’t forget to enable the alarm before you leave. Consider having a friend or neighbor check in on your home while you’re away. You can always set your home up for a vacation patrol check by going here: https://wfpdnow.com/vacationcheck/

2. If you’re planning to travel by car, get your car inspected and/or serviced before your trip. Prepare an emergency kit which should include jumper cables, flares or a reflective triangle, an ice scraper, a blanket, a cell phone charger, and a map. Plan your drive ahead of time and know alternative routes.

3. If you’ll be traveling by plane, review TSA’s travel tips: https://www.tsa.gov/travel/travel-tips. Share your itinerary with friends and family, and don’t forget to pack a small emergency kit that includes a flashlight, batteries, and a USB power bank.

4. If you’ll be traveling with a pet, be sure to add a few items to your emergency kit such as water and pet food. You may also want to consider including a toy or blanket to help alleviate stress.