Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Help Us Identify Aggressive & Bold Shoplifters

On Monday evening around 6:00, two suspects entered a local Best Buy store and began to fill a cart with, what we assume, was someone's Christmas list of electronic items.

It took them only five minutes to get the items on their list before they pushed their goods out the front door. Employees were able to intercept them at the door and ask them if they were going to pay for the items since they had deliberately bypassed all points of sale.

Our two young thieves didn't appreciate the employees stopping them from taking the items, so one of them took out a can of pepper spray and sprayed it in the direction of the employees. The suspects then took off running, although we're happy to say they left without the stuff they were planning to steal.
Luckily, none of the employees got the spray in their eyes, although one had some on his neck and arm that caused some burning and redness.
As you can imagine, we'd like to identify these young men and hold them accountable for their brazen actions.
Anyone with information on the identity of these subjects is asked to call the TIPS HOTLINEat 816-474-TIPS, or the Overland Park Police Departments Investigation Division at 913-344-8750.



Monday, November 24, 2014

"Ooh Look at Those Pretty Lights"

The twinkling lights of red and blue might have looked pretty from a distance, but if you were one of the many motorists stuck in the big traffic jam on US69 Highway Friday night, pretty was probably the last thing you were thinking.

So what happened Friday? A combination of things or a perfect storm of sorts, when it comes to traffic. The tail-end of a Friday night rush hour, heavy construction, wet roads, highway speeds and tailgating drivers. Bam! Crash number one! One car into another, and another into a guardrail. Oh, it was just too much to pass up without taking a look, and then, Bam!! Crash number two... followed by crash number three... then four... and then five. And not just a simple two car crash either. No, most of them had more than two cars. One of them appeared to have involved six cars, until sorting everything out the officers learned that one was actually two separate crashes.

A simple two car crash ties up one officer for at least 45 minutes or longer. Add additional cars, passengers, injuries or vehicles that require tows, and you can start doubling that time. Get a bunch of cars involved or put a simple two car crash in a high traffic area and the incident will start to tie up multiple officers for traffic control. And that's just scratching the surface of the on-scene investigation. It doesn't even begin to get into all of the costs associated with any property or personal injuries involved. Most folks would consider it an inconvenience to deal with a crash on their Friday night instead of just relaxing. You can reduce your risk of being involved in this type of inconvenience simply by driving defensively and keeping your eyes on the roadway in front of you.

Notice we didn't say drive aggressively, we said drive defensively. That means don't tailgate, reduce your speed in construction zones, don't drive in someone else's blind spot, check your mirrors and check then often. If you ever find yourself involved in a crash that can be moved off of the highway, please move it. Don't give other's something to look at.

Yes, those twinkling lights can be mesmerizing. And the destruction that occurs when one vehicle collides with another is tempting to look at, but avoid the temptation and keep your focus on driving.

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:
http://www.preparemetrokc.org.

For a complete list of items for a home or car emergency kit, go to 
www.ksready.gov . Additional information on preparing for winter weather is available from FEMA atwww.fema.gov, the American Red Cross at www.redcross.org, 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 
http://511.ksdot.org/

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.