WFPD Supports Nextdoor.com as Virtual Neighborhhood Watch Platform

logo-white-large

So far, over 5,000 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.

nextdoor-harris-infographic-final

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!!!

Protect Yourself Against Mail Theives


Be on the lookout for mail thieves! It is that time of year when checks are being received and mailed. Incidents of mail theft are on the rise, and here are some tips to protect yourself –

PROTECTING YOUR MAIL

1. Use the letter slots inside your Post Office for your mail, or hand it to a letter carrier.

2. Pick up your mail promptly after delivery. Don’t leave it in your mailbox overnight. If you’re expecting checks, credit cards, or other negotiable items, ask a trusted friend or neighbor to pick up your mail.

3. If you don’t receive a check or other valuable mail you’re expecting, contact the issuing agency immediately.

4. If you change your address, immediately notify your Post Office and anyone with whom you do business via the mail.

5. Don’t send cash in the mail.

6. Tell your Post Office when you’ll be out of town, so they can hold your mail until you return.

7. Report all suspected mail theft to a Postal Inspector.

8. Consider starting a neighborhood watch program. By exchanging work and vacation schedules with trusted friends and neighbors, you can watch each other’s mailboxes (as well as homes).

9. Consult with your local Postmaster for the most up-to-date regulations on mailboxes, including the availability of locked centralized or curbside mailboxes.

If you see a mail thief at work, or if you believe your mail was stolen, call police immediately, then call Postal Inspectors at 877-876-2455 (press 3).

WFPD Arrest Man for Attempting to Pass Over $700,000.00 in Fraudulent Checks

ferkah-ahenkorah-yaw-20

Yaw Ferkah-Ahenkorah

On Thursday, February 9th, at approximately 3:45 pm officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department were dispatched to the 2700 block of Southwest Parkway to the Wells Fargo bank in reference to a possible forgery in progress.

Upon arrival officers spoke with a bank employee who stated that a subject, later identified as 20 year old Yaw Ferkah-Ahenkorah of Chickasha, OK, came into the bank and attempted to deposit three fraudulent checks totaling $283,000.00. Officers detained Ferkah-Ahenkorah.

Ferkah-Ahenkorah advised police that college friends from the University of Science and Arts gave him the checks to deposit.  He stated that he came to the bike trails in Wichita Falls when a friend told him to go deposit the checks at Wells Fargo.

After further investigating it was determined that Ferkah-Ahenkorah had earlier attempted to deposit two other fraudulent checks totaling $440,000.00 at the Wells Fargo bank located on Kell East.

Ferkah-Ahenkorah was arrested and transported to the Wichita County jail without incident where he was charged with Forgery.

WFPD Financial Crime Unit Warns of Another SCAM

scam-alert

There has been an increase in fake checks in our area being mailed to victims for various reasons from alleged Secret shopper programs to online fraudulent jobs posted via craigslist.

BEWARE – if someone sends you a check then ask you to wire money directly back to them or someone else after you deposit the check into your account IT IS A SCAM!

The FDIC requires banks to make funds available on cashier’s checks and money orders within 1-5 days, so the scammers are counting on you receiving the funds and going through with the wire transfer before the check or money order has actually cleared the bank. By the time you find out that the check is not legitimate, you are out the money you sent and will be held accountable for the bounced check by your financial institution.

If it sounds to good to be true then it is. Verify the validity of the check and be very cautious when depositing or cashing checks.

For more information visit the follwoing: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/beware-mystery-shopper-scams

WFPD Warns of IRS Scams

scam-alertFinancial scams are on the rise again. Recently there have been several reports of IRS scams demanding payment for alleged owed money. Scammers are calling unsuspecting victims and advising them they have a warrant for their arrest and/or the police are watching their residence planning to make an arrest if they do not pay. This is a scam that targets the elderly and/or unknowing.

Thousands of Dollars are lost each year to IRS Scammers please keep a look out for these false claims. Check on Family members and friends who you think could fall victim and warn them of the dangers of Scammers. Spread the word and protect one another from would be scammers.

If you have questions or to file a claim you can contact the IRS or visit:

https://www.irs.gov/uac/irs-urges-public-to-stay-alert-for-scam-phone-calls

Do not forget you can sign up for the latest scam alerts at:

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts

Trailer theft prevention tips.

trailersLately criminals have been active stealing trailers.  A common method is to use bolt cutters to cut the tongue locks, hook up the trailer and drive away with  it.  Additionally when thieves size up a trailer one of the first things they consider could be appearance.  A generic looking trailer has “steal me” written all over it.  How many white or black trailers are sold each year?  Can you tell one from another from a distance?  Do whatever you can to make your trailer stand out from the crowd.  Thieves might have a second thought about stealing one so personalized.

If you use a tongue lock consider one that includes the chains in the device.   Trailer wheel locks can also effectively immobilize the trailer to help deter theft and coupler locks can prevent the criminal from hooking up to your trailer.

If devices such as these are too costly simply block the trailer in, use thick heavy chains to secure it to a fixed  object or place it in a secured area.  Keep accurate, up to date information on your trailer to include photographs.  This information can be helpful should it be recovered.  Also consider insuring the  trailer because what’s on it or in it could be more valuable than the trailer itself.

Raidsonline-Crime information sharing system.

raids

RAIDSONLINE  is an analytical information system.  The WFPD keeps records about incidents that occur within the jurisdiction. When an incident happens, the responding officer  writes a report with information about the event including the location, people, related vehicles and other useful information.  The information is then shared at http://www.raidsonline.com and is updated on a regular basis for accuracy.

How does it work?

Easily search for information on nearby criminal activity.

Analytical layers show how crime relates to other factors such as date, time, location type of crime, etc .

RAIDSONLINE helps the public get a better idea of the crime activity in their area so they can make more informed decisions about how to stay safe. RAIDS crime map  connects law enforcement with the community to help reduce crime and improve public safety.

RAIDS Online is also available as a free mobile app.

 

Join us on Nextdoor – www.nextdoor.com

logo-white-largeSo far, over 4,000 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.

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.

Do Not be Left Out in the Cold

car-theft-preventionWith the weather getting colder the Wichita Falls Police Department would like to remind drivers not to leave their cars running and unattended.  Not only does this create a perfect opportunity for someone to steal your vehicle, but in most cases it is illegal.  There are a few simple steps you can take to reduce the risk of losing your vehicle or belongings to an opportunistic thief:

  • STAY WITH THE CAR. It’s better to be cold for a few minutes in your car while it warms up than to be left in the cold while the thief drives it away.
  • LOCK THE DOORS. If unattended this will decrease the opportunity for the criminal to strike.
  • TAKE YOUR KEYS.  Don’t hide your keys on or in the vehicle, thieves know where to look.
  • HIDE YOUR BELONGINGS.  If leaving property in the vehicle this will also help reduce the risk of a burglary or vehicle theft.

Preventing Child Abduction

handsOf all the questions that cross parents’ minds when they hear about child abductions, the most common question may be, “how can I stop this from happening to my child?”

 

 

TIPS FOR PARENTS TO KEEP CHILDREN SAFER WHILE IN PUBLIC

  • Keep children with you at all times while shopping
  • Accompany and supervise children in public facilities, including restrooms
  • Have a plan in case you become separated, including a pre-designated spot to meet
  • Teach children to look for people who can help, such as a uniformed security officer
  • Remind children to remain in the area where they become separated
  • Never dress children in clothing that displays their first or last names
  • Use the word ‘no’ as a safety term

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ATTEMPTED ABDUCTIONS

Parents should learn when and where kids are most vulnerable in order to better protect them. In an analysis of attempted abductions, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children found that many:

  • Involved a suspect driving a vehicle
  • Occurred between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Occurred when the child was traveling to or away from school
  • Involved girls and children between the ages of 10 and 14

TEACH CHILDREN TO TAKE ACTION

NCMEC’s review revealed one extremely important fact: 83% of children who escaped their would-be abductors did something proactive. They walked/ran away, yelled, kicked, or pulled away.

This means the best thing a child can do if someone tries to abduct them is take action instead of being passive or polite.

Use this information to set up a safety plan for your kids – and don’t forget to include teens in these conversations! You can:

  • Point out places they can go for help when walking to places like school and the park
  • Remind them to travel and stay with a group
  • Warn them about accepting rides or changing plans without your permission
  • Teach them the tricks would-be abductors use, such as offering money or asking for help
  • Encourage them to tell a trusted adult whenever anything or anyone makes them uncomfortable

When it comes to keeping your child safe, YOU are your child’s best resource! And as always, please contact the police if you experience or notice anything or anyone acting suspiciously around children.