Friday, November 21, 2014

Shopping Safety During the Holiday Season

The holiday season is now upon us and a vast majority of the population will be venturing out to shop for friends and family. Thieves will be also be out shopping and are hoping to make you their next victim.

This time of year attracts more criminal activity to retail areas because of extended store hours and larger crowds. Shoppers are easily distracted while looking at possible purchases, thus creating a more favorable environment for thieves.

Anticipate crowds and remember to take safety precautions. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you shop at night, park close to the store and under a parking lot light, if you can. Be alert when walking to and from your car, lock your vehicle and be sure to conceal your purchases by locating them in a trunk or cover them with a blanket.

Avoid leaving your purse containing your driver’s license, checkbook and credit cards unattended in a shopping cart or baby stroller. It just takes a second for a thief to grab it.

The buddy system is also a great crime deterrent. Shop with a friend or in a group. It’s not only more fun, but it greatly reduces your chances of being victimized.

 Here are a few more tips for shopping safety during the holiday season:

 · Conceal packages in trunks - plain view

 · Report suspicious people or activities immediately

 · Lock your vehicle

· Pay attention to your surroundings, both in a store and in a parking lot

 · If you feel uneasy returning to your car alone, find a security guard or store employee and ask them to walk you to your car.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

OPPD reminds drivers - Don't Drive on the Shoulder

Please, don't do this.

The Overland Park Police Department continues to receive numerous complaints from motorists regarding drivers who intentionally drive on the shoulder in order to avoid traffic congestion and lane reductions.

Please be patient while navigating road construction on northbound U.S. 69 Highway, from 119th Street to College Boulevard.
 Motorists are reminded that using the shoulder of a highway is illegal. Officers will continue traffic enforcement at this location on a regular basis.

The exit lane is clearly marked and should be easily differentiated from the shoulder.

Officers understand motorists become frustrated by slow moving traffic and then drive on the right shoulder in order to exit at College Boulevard.

Besides violating the law, driving on the shoulder is very dangerous, not just for you, but other motorists. Highway shoulders are designed specifically for emergencies, such as disabled vehicles or stranded motorists.

Officers have been conducting increased enforcement in the construction area over the past few days and will continue until the project is completed.e Kansas Department of Transportation
#KCTRAFFIC is repairing and replacing the surface of the U.S. 69 bridge over I-435 to improve your safety and travel.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Need Help Identifying Robbery Suspect

Earlier this morning, the Overland Park Police Department responded to a reported robbery at the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market, located at 9000 Metcalf Avenue.

An employee said a B/M came up to the customer service counter and handed the employee a note stating he had a gun. The employee complied with the suspect's demands and gave him an undisclosed amount of money.

No one was injured and no customers were involved. 

The suspect left on foot and was last seen running north through the parking lot. He is described as a black male, roughly 5`8" to 5`10", medium build, with a goatee. He was wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt under a black leather jacket.

Anyone with information on this person’s identity is asked to contact the TIPS HOTLINE at 816-474-TIPS or the Overland Park Police at 913-344-8750.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Prepare Now for Winter Driving Conditions

With the forecast calling for some possible snow accumulation this weekend, it's a good time to make sure we've prepared ourselves for any challenging conditions.

Here are a few tips to keep you safe on the roadways this winter:

1. Be sure all occupants are "buckled up."
2. Decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop.
3. Brake gently to avoid skidding.
4. Turn on your lights to increase your visibility.
5. Use low gears to maintain traction, especially on hills.
6. Don't use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.
7. Take extra caution on bridges and overpasses. They freeze quickly.
8. Don't pass snowplows and sand trucks.
9. Keep your windshield clean.
10. Don't assume your vehicle can handle all conditions. Four-wheel drive is of little benefit on icy roads.

The following things should be done each year before the winter season arrives:

1. Create a plan for what your family will do in case of a significant storm.
2. Get your car fully checked and winterized.
3. Have supplies available in case you are stranded for a period of time in your home or at work.

You can find more information about preparing for emergencies and the coming winter weather at:

For a complete list of items for a home or car emergency kit, go to . Additional information on preparing for winter weather is available from FEMA, the American Red Cross at, or your county emergency management office.

Winter road conditions are accessible by dialing 5-1-1 from your mobile phone or by going to the Kansas Department of Transportation web site at

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Operation Rudolph

The Police Department is honored to be a part of "Operation Rudolph" for the third consecutive year. With the help of our Community Partners, we have given hope and provided necessities to over sixty families during the past three Holiday seasons. It is our goal this year to continue to serve this mission by providing gift cards and food items to more than 20 deserving families.

Target Corporation has generously donated $1,500 toward our gift card goal of $4,350. In addition to gift cards, we also provide a food basket containing everything necessary for a complete Holiday meal. The Johnson County Chapter of the NAACP is our key partner in providing the food baskets.

Watch the story below and see how OPPD is making a difference.


Monday, November 3, 2014

Help Us Identify These "Pink" Thieves

On October 11th, 2014, the Overland Park Police Department took an auto burglary report at a local country club. The two victims told police they parked their minivan in the parking lot of the establishment and left two purses inside. When they returned, they discovered someone had broken out one of the windows and removed the purses from inside. The victims had several credit cards stolen along with some personal checks.

A short time later, the female suspect uses one of the victim's checks at an area retail store. The same female returns to the store two hours later and makes a second fraudulent purchase with another check belonging to the victim. She is accompanied by a male who also engages in a theft while he's inside the store.

Still not done, the female then goes to a different store in another city and uses a third check belonging to the victim to purchase a pink bed comforter (see picture below).

The victim's checks continue to be passed at various businesses in the Johnson County, Kansas area.

The suspect is described as a thin white female, with bleach blonde hair, and appears to be in her 20`s or 30`s. She is accompanied by a stocky white male, with short, shaved hair and a thin beard. He also appears to be in his late 20`s or early 30`s and has unknown tattoos on the insides of both forearms.

They are both seen leaving in a large, dark-colored SUV.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the TIPS HOTLINE at 816-474-TIPS or the Overland Park Police at 913-344-8729.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween Safety Tips

With Halloween falling on a Friday this year, combined with the warmer weather, you can bet there's a good chance you'll see a lot more of the little ones darting in and out of the neighborhoods this year.
The Overland Park Police Department wants everyone to enjoy a fun and safe Halloween evening by following several safety tips.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children are four times more likely to be in fatal pedestrian accidents on Halloween than on any other night of the year. The numbers are scary when you think about it which is why we want to remind parents about a few safety items.

There are seven basic reasons why children are more likely to be hurt in pedestrian accidents:

1. They often choose to take the shortest route, which may mean darting out between parked cars rather than take the safer route of crossing at corners.

2. They're poor at evaluating potential traffic threats.

3. They're more likely to disregard their peripheral vision and are less attentive of their street surroundings.

4. They have a tendency to believe they're indestructible and are more likely to take risks.

5. They need to be told that some people driving cars will not slow down for them.

6. They can't cross streets as rapidly as adults.

7. They may be distracted by other children's costumes, behaviors, and home decorations.

Here are some important Halloween safety tips that every parent should know:

• Purchase or make Halloween costumes from flame-resistant materials.

• Pick brightly colored costumes or add your own reflective tape so motorists can see them.

• Attach your child's name, address, and phone number somewhere inside the costume. • An adult should always accompany children under age 12.

• To avoid tripping, make sure your child's costume is not too long, and that shoes are the proper size.

• Use washable face paint instead of masks so your child's vision isn't compromised.

• Plan the route your children are going to take, especially if they're going out unsupervised. They should go in a group.

• Teach your children never to respond to a driver or pedestrian that calls out to them.

• Provide your children with a healthy meal ahead of time, so they don't get hungry before returning home.

• Make sure your children don't eat any candy or food without checking with you first.

• Keep your walkway free of debris so that children coming to your house won't trip or fall.

• Keep your pets away from the front door so they won't scare trick-or-treaters.

• Tell your children not to go to homes with barking, jumping dogs and not to approach any stray animals.

• Make sure your children have flashlights, especially if they're staying out after dark.

• Establish an appropriate curfew for children to return home.

• Make sure your children have change for a phone call and know their phone number.

• Don't let young children carve pumpkins. Get them involved by drawing the outlines before you cut them out as well as helping with other decorations.

• Don't hand out candy that could be a possible choking hazard to younger children.

• Teach your children to stay on the sidewalks and cross only at corners.

• Teach your children to look, listen and be aware of cars not stopping at corners.

• Teach your children to only go to houses with porch lights on and to never enter anyone's house.