Monday, October 31, 2011

The Nose Knows

Police Officers regularly use their senses to help them do their jobs. The use of sight and hearing are obvious, but the sense of smell can also help to detect crime.

On 10/26/11 an officer used his nose while on the front step of an Overland Park residence. The distinct odor of marijuana was wafting through the air. After talking to the resident, the officer decided to obtain a search warrant for the home.

The officers executed the warrant and found contraband causing the smell. No arrests were made at that time, but we are confident they will be forthcoming.

This is an example of good police work and a job well done by all the officers involved.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

White Pickup Connected to another Cigarette Theft

We have taken several cigarette theft reports this year that involved a white pickup truck as the getaway vehicle. The latest incident occurred early yesterday morning.

On October 26, 2011, around 5:30 a.m., two people entered a store in the area of 75th and Metcalf. While the involved female distracted the clerk, the male suspect went behind the counter, grabbed several cartons of cigarettes, and fled the store to the white pickup truck. A short time later, the female returned to the white pickup truck, as well, and the two left the area.

The truck is further described as a Chevrolet Silverado extended cab with unknown tag. The truck has a black trim piece running horizontally across the middle of the door.

The suspects were described as a heavy-set black female wearing a white t-shirt and black pants and a tall, slender black male wearing a gray shirt and blue jeans, with an unshaven face and short black hair. He is believed to be involved in previous cigarette thefts.

Anyone with information on the identity of these people of interest in the below photos is asked to call the TIPS HOTLINE at 816-474-TIPS.

The below photos are from this latest incident.

The below photos are from one of the thefts earlier in the year.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Unwelcome Night Visitor

Open houses are a traditional way to visit with friends and relatives during the holidays, but be careful about providing one for burglars. No one wants strangers entering their home.

Occasionally we have an incident where a resident encounters a stranger who has entered their unsecured home. We recently took a report on an event like this.

On October 25, 2011 shortly after midnight a resident called police after scaring off a stranger who had entered their home. When the resident heard one of those “bumps in the night,” they went to investigate. The resident opened the door leading to the basement and garage to discover a 23-25 year old white male standing there.

The man ran out of the house and the resident followed for a short distance before calling police. Police responded and searched the area but the suspect was not located.

It turns out that a side door to the garage was left unlocked which provided the suspect an opportunity for entry. There was no reported damage and no loss of property in this event.

The suspect was described as approximately 5’10 with a slender build and he was wearing blue jeans, a black ball cap, and a dark blue coat.

Make sure you have your doors and windows locked to help keep this from happening to you.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Police Reports

No one wants to be the victim of a crime, but what do you do if you are? First of all, if you find yourself in an emergency situation, call 911 immediately. If you are in a non-emergency situation, you can contact Police Dispatchers at 913-895-6300. They would then dispatch an Officer to your location to complete your report. They may also present you with the option of responding to either two of our stations, 8500 Antioch or 12400 Foster, to make your report. But, speaking with an Officer in person is not your only option. Our Online Police Reporting might be what fits in best with your day.

We allow submission of non-emergency reports that you may file immediately, with no wait. Then you can print a copy of the report for free.

The following types of reports may be completed online:
Harassing, threatening or obscene phone calls
Theft of: motor fuel, services, items from a vehicle, or other miscellaneous thefts
Suspicious activity or people
Lost license plates-not stolen
Lost property such as cell phones, wallets, purses, etc.
Possible drug activity in a neighborhood (that is not occurring at the moment)
Unlawful use of a credit or debit card

All reports filed with our Online Reporting System are reviewed by personnel. After review, a police officer or detective may contact you for further investigation, if needed. Reports with limited information or no leads do not get assigned to an investigator, so details are imperative. This reporting method can be found on our city website,

Monday, October 24, 2011

Drive Carefully Around Accident Scenes

Several years ago the State of Kansas passed a law requiring vehicles to slow and/or move over a lane when approaching and passing a stopped emergency vehicle with emergency lights activated. This was done in an effort to keep emergency personnel safe when they are in dangerous traffic conditions associated with their duties. It is a good reminder for everyone to take extra driving precautions while navigating around events where emergency first responders are present.

On 10/21/2011, first responders were on the scene of a traffic accident in the area of 91st street and Metcalf. A motorist trying to get around the event ended up side-swiping a parked ambulance on the scene. The motorist was attempting to make a left turn around the event when his driver’s side mirror struck the ambulance. Luckily, there were no emergency personnel on that side of the ambulance.

When navigating around an accident scene, if you have any concerns about striking an emergency vehicle as you are trying to get around it, you are passing too closely. Please drive slowly and watch for people outside of vehicles.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Drug Take-Back Day is October 29th

In coordination with the DEA, the Overland Park Police Department will host two sites for the upcoming Prescription Drug Take-Back day. The event is scheduled for Saturday, October 29, 2011, from 10am to 2pm.

The two Overland Park locations will be 8500 Antioch Road and 12400 Foster Street. This is a great opportunity to safely dispose of expired and/or unused medication. This disposal method ensures these medications do not fall into the wrong hands.
Nationwide, these take-back days have been a huge success. During the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days on September 25, 2010 and April 25, 2011, nearly 4,000 state and local law enforcement agencies participated and collected more than 309 tons of pills.

Check out the following links from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Food and Drug Administration for further information.



Wednesday, October 19, 2011

If You Snooze You Lose

Did you know studies have shown that 37% of drivers have reported falling asleep or nodding off at the wheel?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data reflects that over the past few years, there have been nearly 56,000 crashes annually in which driver fatigue or drowsiness played a role. The National Sleep Foundation offers the following tips to help prevent you from becoming a statistic:

• If possible, get a good night's sleep.
• Plan to drive long trips with a companion.
• Schedule regular stops every 100 miles or two hours.
• Avoid alcohol.
• Avoid medications that may make you drowsy.
• Drink the equivalent of two cups of coffee.
• Limit naps to 15 to 20 minutes. More than that can make you feel groggy.

Click the following links for more information.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

National Sleep Foundation

Child Safety

The story surrounding the missing child from Kansas City, Missouri has captivated the news and the entire metropolitan area. Although these events are very rare, there may be a lot of parents out there asking themselves “How do I keep my child safe?”. A missing child is something no one would ever want to go through.

Although the following information from The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children may not be applicable to the current case in Kansas City, MO, due to the age of the child involved, it is good information. You may want to take this opportunity to speak with your children about safety.

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children provides some of the following information on their website.

What are the most important things parents should tell children about safety?
1. Always check first with a parent, guardian, or trusted adult before going anywhere, accepting anything, or getting into a car with anyone.

2. Do not go out alone. Always take a friend with you when going places or playing outside.

3. Say no if someone tries to touch you, or treats you in a way that makes you feel sad, scared, or confused. Get out of the situation as quickly as possible.

4. Tell a parent, guardian, or trusted adult if you feel sad, scared, or confused.

5. There will always be someone to help you, and you have the right to be safe.

What should a parent know when talking to a child about safety?
1. Don’t forget your older children. Children aged 11 to17 are equally at risk for victimization. At the same time you are giving your older children more freedom, make sure they understand important safety rules as well.

2. Speak to your children in a manner that is calm and reassuring. Children do not need to be frightened to get the point across. In fact, fear can thwart the safety message, because fear can be paralyzing to a child.

3. Speak openly. Children will be less likely to come to you about issues enshrouded in secrecy. If they feel that you are comfortable discussing the subject at hand, they may be more forthcoming.

4. Do not teach “stranger danger.” Children do not have the same understanding of “strangers” as adults; the concept is difficult for them to grasp. And, based on what we know about those who harm children, people known to children and/or their families’ actually present greater danger to children than do “strangers.”

5. Practice what you preach. You may think your children understand your message, but until they can incorporate it into their daily lives, it may not be clearly understood. Find opportunities to practice “what if” scenarios. Teach your children that safety is more important than manners. In other words, it is more important for children to get themselves out of a dangerous situation than it is to be polite.

For more information, click the following link to go the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children website.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

If it Walks Like a Duck.....

An Overland Park man trusted his instincts and reported suspicious behavior, which resulted in two arrests.

On October 13, 2011, at 3am, Overland Park Police responded to a call of two suspicious males walking in a neighborhood wearing gloves and carrying backpacks. The reporting person had seen the males enter a silver sedan. When officers arrived, they observed a silver sedan parked in the street with its doors open. A foot chase then ensued with two males who matched the description.

A K-9 was called out to assist with this search. The silver sedan was a stolen vehicle and had a .22 caliber rifle inside. Two suspects were soon located and taken into custody.

This criminal activity would not have been discovered without citizen’s help in observing and immediately reporting this suspicious behavior to police.

Monday, October 17, 2011

There Goes My Roof

With all the storm damage we have seen this summer, there are a lot of roofs still being replaced. As I am sure you have seen around your neighborhood, contractors often place supplies for upcoming jobs on the driveways of the homes. These supplies can become targets for thieves, and homeowners may not notice them disappearing.

Recently, Officers took a report of a theft that involved these circumstances. The homeowner witnessed two Hispanic males arrive in a beat up white Chevy pickup truck. The homeowner saw them load a bunch of roofing supplies and leave. He thought it was strange, but he did not know if the contractor needed the material for another job. The homeowner called the contractor who told him his employees did not take the supplies.

The homeowner then called police and reported the theft. The passenger of the truck was described as a “skinny” Hispanic male. The driver of the truck was described as a stocky Hispanic male, 5`8, 220 lb, medium black hair, and had the word "Mexican" tattooed across the front of his chest.

The homeowner believed the truck was possibly a 1990 - 1992 model Chevrolet with a partial Wyandotte County Kansas tag of 084-D___.

Anyone with information on the identity of these two suspects is asked to call the Overland Park Police Department at 913-344-8750 or the TIPS HOTLINE at 816-474-TIPS.

*Unrelated Photos

Thursday, October 13, 2011


October 22, 2011
8:00 AM – 12:00 PM


Overland Park Police Department
12400 Foster Street
Overland Park, KS 66213

All shredded materials are recycled to help protect the environment!

Donations accepted to benefit the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers TIPS Hotline, a 501c3 non-profit organization that takes anonymous citizen tips to solve felony crimes in your community.

**Limit 3 boxes / bags per vehicle**

Click the following link to see flyer.

Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers

TIPS Hotline 816-474-TIPS (8477)
Text “TIP452” to “CRIMES” (274637)

But, Officer, It’s Not MY House..

Overland Park continues to have zero tolerance for underage drinking. Several arrests from this past weekend show our effort to curb this activity.

An 18-year-old who was house-sitting for a family member allowed a party to gather that involved underage drinking. As what commonly happens in these situations, an unusually high amount of traffic drew attention to the home. Officers responded, and after a short investigation, the 18-year-old was arrested for hosting. Six other people under the age of 21 were arrested for minor in possession of alcohol.

As you can see from this incident, it’s not just parents who get arrested for allowing underage drinking to take place in their homes. Anyone allowing underage drinking to occur on property they have control over can be sited for hosting.

If you are a parent please talk to your children about the serious consequences of taking part in one of these events.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Auto Burglary Victim Detains Suspect

Rarely does the victim of an auto burglary see the suspect commit the crime. It’s even rarer for the victim to catch, detain, and notify police, but that’s just what happened.

On 10-07-11 around 1045 a.m. a man working on a retail construction project observed a young man enter his car. The victim quickly ran to his vehicle and confronted the young man. The car owner detained the suspect and called police.

Police arrived and took the suspect into custody. As police were investigating the incident, a second suspect was located and taken into custody, as well.

It turns out the two were out of gas and decided to go through vehicles in the area looking for loose change to buy some. They were eventually released to the custody of the Johnson County Jail to await their first appearance.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Get Out of My Car

At the end of the work day most people are tired, still have many things on their minds and just want to get home. Ejecting a stranger from your vehicle prior to battling rush hour traffic should not be part of anyone’s commute.

This happened recently to the manager of a local restaurant. At the end of her shift, she discovered an unknown male sitting in the passenger seat of her car. Several employees tried to get the man out by opening the door, but he kept shutting it. After several attempts to remove him, the man locked himself in. Officers arrived and were able to remove the young man from the car. It appeared he had been drinking.

The manager was not interested in filing charges since the man did not cause any damage to the vehicle and did not take anything. A family member responded to the scene and accepted responsibility for the man.

This is a good reminder to make sure you lock your car when you are going to be away from it. After a long day at work this would be the last thing you would want to deal with.

Monday, October 10, 2011

October is National Domestic / Dating Violence Awareness Month.

Domestic Violence is not just about physical abuse. It has many aspects and often includes emotional abuse. It can happen to anyone regardless of gender, size or age. In fact, if you do any research you will find many sites indicating that 1 in 3teenagers have experienced violence in a dating relationship.

Regardless of the victim’s or offender’s age, domestic and dating violence is about power and control. Every relationship is different, but domestic violence often follows a cycle. First, tension builds to a breaking point, then there is a violent or extreme emotional event, and finally the couple enters into what is commonly known as the “honeymoon phase.” The honeymoon phase is where an offender often apologizes for the incident and may even promise that it will never happen again.

While there are many warning signs of abuse, here are ten of the most common:

1. Checking your cell phone or email without permission
2. Constant put-downs
3. Extreme jealousy or insecurity
4. Explosive temper
5. Financial control
6. Isolating you from family or friends
7. Mood swings
8. Physically hurting you in any way
9. Possessiveness
10. Telling you what to do

By knowing what to look for you can help break the cycle of violence. If some of these warning signs describe a relationship you are in or know of, don’t wait to seek help. These situations normally escalate in frequency and intensity. Reporting the incident could save a life.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Crossing Guard Celebrates 31 Years

Mary Cutting has been a School Crossing Guard for the City of Overland Park Police Department for 31 years! She has covered several schools during this time. She spent 20 years at Rosehill Elementary, four years at Oakhill Elementary and Oxford Middle School, and is presently serving at Pawnee Elementary School. She loves her crossing and the kids.

Mary grew up in Kansas City, MO and has been married to her husband, Luther, for 60 years. Together they have 4 children, 7 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. They also have an 11 year old Pomeranian named Libby. On nice days Libby goes to work with Mary.

You may not realize it, but every day a crossing guard works, they not only keep our children safe, but they also keep a police officer available to answer emergency calls.

Thank you for your many years of dedication and service to our children. Our community relies heavily on our crossing guards. They are trusted with our most valued and irreplaceable treasures, our children.

Flying Manhole Covers

It wasn’t quite like the exciting scenes from the movie “Volcano” where rivers of bubbling lava gushed through the sewer system and sent manhole covers airborne, but we did have one flip its’ lid recently.

Police and Fire personnel responded to 103rd and Grant on the morning of October 4, to investigate a report that an explosion had blown off a manhole cover. Smoke was observed by Fire personnel when they arrived.

It appeared that electricity may have been the culprit, so the street was closed for a short time while KCP&L responded and investigated. It was determined that some type of power arcing took place that caused the event.

The electric company was confidant this would not happen again.

*Non-related photo

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Car Wash Thieves Make a Clean Get-Away, for Now

We have all heard of thieves causing more financial damage to property during a theft than the value of the items they took. A good example of this is destroying walls in a home under construction to access copper wiring worth a few dollars. We had a case like this recently, except instead of copper, the target was quarters.

Sometime over night from 9/19/11 to 9/20/11 the collection boxes of five coin-operated machines at one of our local car washes was targeted. The face plates where coins are deposited and wash selections are made were pried open causing over $17,000 in damage. The value of the stolen coins is estimated at far below the cost of repairing just one of the five damaged units.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Overland Park Police Department at 913-344-8750, or the TIPS HOTLINE at 816-474-TIPS.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Car Alarm Foils Thief

Some mornings that 5:30 a.m. alarm clock is a very unwelcome noise. An Overland Park resident was awakened recently by a much more ominous alarm.

On September 29, around 3:00 a.m., the car alarm sounded from one of the vehicles parked in his garage. As he got up and looked out the window, he saw a man run from his garage to a car across the street. The vehicle left in a hurry. When the resident got to his garage, he realized he had left his overhead door open when he went to bed.

There were two vehicles in the garage; one was locked and one was not. The suspect had rifled through the unlocked car. However, when he tried to enter the locked car, the alarm awakened the homeowner.

Thanks to the car alarm, the resident did not suffer any loss in this incident.

This event shows the benefit of locking your car even if it is inside your garage.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Vacation Frustrations Thwarted by Security Guard

When on vacation or just out of town for a long weekend, having your car broken into or stolen can quickly turn precious time off into a nightmare. Time that could have been spent dining or enjoying a ball game is spent filling out police reports and repairing damage to your car.

An alert hotel security guard saved visitors from that vacation nightmare in Overland Park late last month. Around 9:30 pm on September 30, our department received a call reporting a person looking into cars in an area hotel parking lot.

Officers responded and after a short investigation, one person was arrested for attempted auto theft and trespassing. No loss or damage to vehicles has been reported at this time.

As a reminder, keep your vehicles locked and items of value out of view to minimize your chances of becoming a victim.