Scam Alert: IRS Urges Taxpayers to Watch Out for Erroneous Refunds; Beware of Fake Calls to Return Money to a Collection Agency

downloadWith tax season upon on us also is the increase for various IRS scams.  One of the most recent involves erroneous refunds.

Criminals have a new twist on an old scam. After stealing client data from tax professionals and filing fraudulent tax returns, these criminals use the taxpayers’ real bank accounts for the deposit.

Thieves are then using various tactics to reclaim the refund from the taxpayers, and their versions of the scam may continue to evolve.

For more information regarding this scam and what to look out for so you do not fall victim you can visit IRS.gov or click here.

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Vehicle Pursuit Ends with Suspect in Custody and Multiple Charges Filed.

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Steven King

On Tuesday, March 6th, at approximately 10:00 pm officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a 2004 black Chevrolet Suburban at the intersection of Brook and Kell West.  The driver, later identified as 48 year old Steven King, refused to stop and began to accelerate in an attempt to evade police.

A short vehicle pursuit ensued down Speedway to Kell East.  King continued to flee east on Kell to Harding Street.  King eventually exited the vehicle near Holliday creek and began running on the trail that runs along the creek.  The vehicle continued to roll through a fence and came to a rest in Holliday creek.

Officers continued to pursue King and observed him through down a handgun, which was later recovered. Officers were able to catch up to King in the 900 block of MLK.  After a brief struggle officers were able to get King into custody.

King was transported to the Wichita County jail where he was charged with evading, resisting arrest, felon in possession of a firearm, tampering with evidence and duty upon striking a fixed object.

WFPD Provides Vacation Patrol Check

vacation-circled-on-calendar-jpgWith Spring Break getting closer and the increase in homes being left unattended due to families going on vacation the Wichita Falls Police Department would like to remind the public of a free vacation patrol check service that is available to them.

The WFPD offers Vacation Home Checks to all Wichita Falls residents.  While you are away on vacation, Sentinels from the Wichita Falls Police Department will periodically stop by your home to check for open doors, broken windows or any other suspicious circumstances.  In the event that something out of the ordinary is discovered, you or your listed emergency contact will be contacted immediately.  This is another added security precaution you can utilize to safeguard your possessions and assure your peace of mind while you are on vacation.  This is a free, but invaluable service provided by the Wichita Falls Police Department.  Please fill in the form below to request a vacation check.

Click here to request your Vacation Patrol Check

Homeowner realizes that the Police Department and the City do not assume any liability for loss or damage to property during specified dates. Homeowner understands there is no guarantee that vacation checks will be done daily, only when Sentinels are available.

Local Campus Crime Stoppers Program Wins Big at State Conference

IMG_2725Twenty three individuals representing the Wichita Falls Crime Stoppers Campus programs attended the 23rd Annual Texas Campus Crime Stoppers Conference held in Houston on February 26-28.

Campus Crime Stopper Programs from around the state attended the event which was led by the Crime Stoppers of Houston Safe School Program team and provided an interactive and fun learning environment for both students and adults who care about keeping their schools safe.

Middle and high students, as well as adults, from across Texas were invited to attend this three-day educational conference that addressed common school concerns. Participants had the opportunity to learn new skills in hopes that they can take back the knowledge and safety information learned and implement at their home campuses.

During the awards ceremony portion of the conference local Wichita Falls Campus Crime Stoppers programs won the following awards for “Crime of the Week”, “Best General Newsprint” and “Greatest Dollar Recovery & Most Cases Cleared with a Student Population 8,001 – 10,000”.

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WFPD Offers Active Shooter Training

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Sgt. McClure presenting the CRASE course to faculty at Notre Dame School

In the past two decades, horrific mass shootings have been thrust into public consciousness. Mitigating the effects of these sudden incidents is the responsibility of those who serve in our communities’ public safety organizations. The public expects an effective and swift response to these threats and the sequence of events that follow them.

Research has shown however that many of the mass shootings, or active shooter events, are over before law enforcement responders arrive on the scene. Civilians who find themselves in an active shooter event must be prepared to take immediate action to save their own lives before law enforcement arrives. The average response time for police response to an active shooter event is three minutes. Without effective, preplanned response options for civilians at the scene of the attack, many victims can be seriously injured or killed during these three minutes.

The Wichita Falls Police Department is frequently asked to provide guidance to the community about what civilians should do if faced with an active shooter threat.

The WFPD is currently offering Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events, “CRASE” training.  The training is designed for any civilian group including schools, businesses, civic organizations, faith-based organizations, and others.

If you are interested in having this training brought to your organization please contact Sgt. Harold McClure at (940) 720-5016 or you can e-mail him at harold.mcclure@wfpd.net.

WFPD Serves Aggravated Robbery Warrant

McMinn, Justin

Justin McMinn

On Friday, February 16th, at approximately 2:45 pm in the 1600 block of 31st officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department served an aggravated robbery warrant on 30 year old Justin Mcminn.

The warrant stemmed from an aggravated robbery that was reported to the WFPD on January 28th of this year at the Quick Stop located in the 2100 block of Holiday.

The reporting party stated that at approximately 11:15 pm a subject came into the store and demanded money while waving brass knuckles.  The suspect fled the store with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Federal Detainer Placed on Watson for Multiple Bank Robberies to Include Local Bank

Wayne Watson TXDL

Wayne Watson

Earlier this week the Wichita Falls Police Department reported that 57 year old Wayne Alan Watson was in custody in the Tarrant County jail for aggravated robbery. A federal detainer has now been placed on him for multiple bank robberies across the state to include the Legend Bank here in Wichita Falls.

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 WFPD Crimes Against Persons Unit identified the suspect during their follow up investigation of the Legend Bank robbery.  The suspect was identified as Wayne Alan Watson of Fort Worth.  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.

WFPD Issues Warrants on Suspects in Recent Robbery and Aggravated Robbery

Detectives with the Wichita Falls Police Department have filed warrants on two suspects for recent robberies that have occurred in the City; 30 year old Justin McMinn and 51 year old Gregory Reynolds.

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Justin McMinn

McMinn is wanted for the aggravated robbery that took place at the Quick Stop on January 28th of this year.

The reporting party stated that at approximately 11:15 pm a subject came into the store located in the 2100 block of Holiday Rd and demanded money while waving brass knuckles.  The suspect fled the store with an undisclosed amount of cash.

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Gregory Reynolds

Reynolds is wanted for the robbery that took place at the Subway restaurant on February 1st of this year.

The reporting party stated that at approximately 3:00 pm a subject came into the store located in the 3700 block of Fairway and demanded money.  The suspect fled the store with an undisclosed amount of cash.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of either of these subjects you are encouraged to call police at (940) 720-5000 or if you want to remain anonymous you can call Crime Stoppers at (940) 322-9888.

Ft Worth Man Arrested for Aggravated Robbery of Local Business

Wayne Watson TXDL

Wayne Watson

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.

During the search 57 year old Wayne Alan Watson was located and arrested on an aggravated robbery warrant.  The warrant stemmed from an aggravated robbery that was reported to our agency back on November 29th of last year.

The victim called to report that a white male had just entered Carter’s, located in the 3200 block of Lawrence, and demanded money.  The victim stated the suspect displayed a handgun.  The suspect was able to get an undisclosed amount of cash and then fled the scene.

Watson was transported to the Tarrant County jail.

Further charges are pending.

WFPD K-9 Unit Arrest One; Seizes over 13 Pounds of Marijuana

On Thursday, February 1st, at approximately 1:40 pm officers with the Wichita Falls Police Department observed a 2017 white Ford Fiesta traveling 75 mph in a 60 mph zone in the 3100 block of U.S. Highway 287. Officers initiated a traffic stop and identified the driver as 54 year old Jeffery Carrethers.

WFPD K-9 Turko was deployed and conducted a free air sniff of the Fiesta. K-9 Turko gave a positive alert at the rear passenger door of the vehicle as well as the rear quarter near the trunk. A search was conducted based on probable cause from the K-9 alert. During the search, officers located a blue suitcase in the trunk of the vehicle that contained 18 individual vacuum sealed packages containing a green leafy substance that was later determined to be hydroponic marijuana.

Upon the discovery of the marijuana Carrethers gave a statement that all the marijuana was his. Carrethers stated that he purchased the marijuana in Denver, Colorado and was taking it with him to Dallas, TX.

The total amount of marijuana located inside the vehicle was 13.35 pounds.

Carrethers was arrested and transported to the Wichita County jail without incident where he was charged with Possession of Marijuana over 5 pounds under 50 pounds.