Friday, November 30, 2012

Help to Identify a Person Using Stolen Credit Cards

On November 25th, around 7:00 pm, the victim stopped to exercise at a local health club. Before she went inside the facility she left her purse in her locked vehicle.

While she was inside, someone smashed the window of her car and stole her purse. The victim had a number of things in the purse, including her credit cards. The victim's credit cards were then used at several retail establishments in the area. The total loss on just one card is over $3,000.

The photos below show the female suspect attempting to use one of the victim’s credit cards at a local grocery store. She is seen getting into the rear passenger door of a blue SUV.

Anyone with information on the suspect is asked to contact the TIPS HOTLINE at 816-474-TIPS or the Overland Park Police at 913-344-8750.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Results of Thanksgiving Enforcement Campaign

The Overland Park Police Department conducted a Thanksgiving Mobilization S.T.E.P. (Special Traffic Enforcement Program) Campaign from November 19th, through November 25th.

The campaign was conducted with the principle focus on DUI/Restraint violations. Officers also looked for child passenger seat violations, speeding, and other alcohol related arrests in an effort to reduce alcohol related auto accidents.

Please review the statistical results:

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Help Identify Theft Suspects

The Overland Park Investigations Division is asking for the public’s help in identifying the male and female pictured below.

On November 24th, Overland Park Police responded on a theft report from a local grocery store. Employees stated a white female pushed a grocery cart full of items out the front without attempting to make payment. The female suspect pushed the cart to the parking lot where a black male assisted her in putting the items inside an SUV.

A store manager went out to confront the suspects and noticed various foods items lying on the ground leaving a trail to a vehicle. He was able to grab the cart away from them before all the groceries were loaded into the vehicle. The male then jumped in the driver’s seat and quickly backed out hitting the cart and almost striking the manager.

The employee was able to recover about half the items that were inside the cart before they drove away. The recovered items totaled around $450.

The SUV is described as a dark grey Ford Expedition with Idaho plates. It is unknown if the plate was stolen, or the suspects were in the area visiting relatives for the holiday.

Anyone with information on the identity of this couple is asked to call the Overland Park Police Investigations Division at 913-344-8750.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

‘Tis the Season to Shop

With special Thanksgiving hours, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, retailers are giving us more than ample opportunities to get out and shop. The multi-day Black Friday shopping event has also given shoplifters extended time to commit their crimes against retailers.

If you conducted an internet search regarding Black Friday, you’ll find numerous examples where people across the country were arrested for things from simple theft to aggravated battery.

Here in Overland Park, the Black Friday event passed without any major problems, except some minor traffic issues. We did make 12 arrests at Oak Park Mall over the weekend as part of our ongoing Anti-Fraud and Theft Initiative. Since it began on October 5th, detectives have arrested a total of 81 people.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Living with Wildlife

Living in isolated areas of the county you’d certainly expect to see a greater number of wildlife, but during this time of year we also see an increase in the number of calls involving wild animals as they venture closer to the suburban areas.

With the increase in fox, bobcat and coyote movement, it’s normal to see them during all hours of the day and night. This anticipated behavior occasionally raises questions about safety in neighborhoods, so here are a few facts and helpful tips when dealing with coyotes in your area.

Coyotes generally won’t attack a dog for food. Rather, they view dogs as competition for territory, food and mates. Coyote’s favorite foods are small mammals (mice, voles, shrews, rabbits). Coyotes will also eat feral and free-roaming cats. However, research done in the Chicago region has shown that even in an urban environment, coyotes prefer their “natural” foods of small mammals and carrion.

The most effective way to prevent a bad encounter with a coyote is to make sure all of your behavior reinforces its natural fear of people. Clean up food around your house that coyotes like, such as bird seed, messy garbage cans, or food left out for pets. These types of food sources are not natural and teach coyotes that if they risk coming close to people, they will be rewarded with food. Finally, keep all pets inside at night and watch small dogs while outside, even during daylight hours.

For additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our Animal Control Department at 913-895-6300. Animal Control does not provide nuisance wildlife removal.

• Nuisance wildlife complaints: Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, 913-894-9113, or contact a nuisance wildlife removal agency in the phone book.

• Tips on handling orphaned wildlife: Operation Wildlife, 913-631-6566.

Stat Fact: In a year's time, Animal Control will answer more than 9,000 calls, impound more than 1,200 animals, investigate more than 120 animal bites, and process more than 200 special animal permits.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Get The 411 On Road Conditions By Calling 511

Did you know that you can call 511 on your cellular phone and get route specific information for your travel plans this holiday weekend? Until this morning, I didn’t know just how much of the United States was covered by the 511 program.

You may have seen the signs along the highway that post something like, “Call 511 for travel info.” What you may not know is that over 70% of the United States participates in the 511 program. This means that if you dial 511 from your cellular phone, you can get travel information for an area that can help you make trip decisions for your route. I tried this myself and found it very easy to use. It gave me several options to check Kansas specific roadways and then provided me with the opportunity to check the surrounding states’ highways.

Before you head out on your road trip this weekend, make sure you do some basic safety checks on your vehicle such as lights, fluid levels, and tires and so on, and then call 511 to check the road conditions for your route.

Visit for more information and drive safely.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Overland Park Police Investigate Overnight Fatality Accident

On November 20, 2012, around 1:50 am, Overland Park Police responded on a fatality accident that occurred on northbound US69 Highway, just north of Interstate I-435 Highway.

The accident involved (1) car which appears to have lost control after having traveled from westbound I-435 onto the ramp to northbound US69 Highway.

The driver of the passenger car is identified as 20 year-old, John Stevens Hauk II, of Kansas City, Kansas. The driver was not wearing his seat belt and suffered fatal injuries from the accident.

The Overland Park Police Department’s Traffic Safety Unit continues to investigate the accident.

This is the fifth traffic related fatality in the city during 2012, which is now equal to last year’s total.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Seat Belt Safety Study

As you can probably tell from past postings on this blog, the topic of seat belt usage has been of paramount importance to us and will continue to be so in the future.

This past week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released information from a recent study they conducted regarding seat belt usage. Their findings indicated that more people across the country are buckling up than ever before.

The survey shows that nationwide seat belt use reached an all-time high of 86 percent in 2012. That’s good news, especially with the upcoming holidays and the record number of people who will be travelling on our nation’s highways this season.

According to NHTSA's annual National Occupant Protection Use Survey, seat belt use has steadily increased since 1994, with the record high of 86 percent in 2012 representing a two percent increase over the previous year.

Seat belt use continues to be higher in states that have primary belt laws (Kansas), which permit law enforcement officers to issue citations to motorists solely for not using a seat belt rather than requiring additional traffic violations.

Buckling up your seat belt has been proven to be the single most effective way to reduce the risk of injury or death in motor vehicle crashes. Most people who die in collisions are not wearing a safety belt.

The Kansas Safety Belt Use Act (KSA 8-2501) requires the following:

• Each occupant of a passenger car who is 14 years of age or older shall have a safety belt properly fastened at all times the vehicle is in motion.

• Each occupant of a passenger car, at least 14 years of age, but younger than 18 years of age, in any seating position can be cited for this violation (KSA 8-2503(b).

• Front seat occupants of a passenger car who are 18 years of age or older can be cited for this violation.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thanksgiving Holiday Enforcement Campaign

The Overland Park Police Department, along with many other police agencies across the state, will be participating in the Kansas Thanksgiving Traffic Enforcement Campaign from Monday, November 19, through Sunday, November 25. A grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) will underwrite overtime traffic enforcement that especially targets impaired drivers as well as vehicle occupants who are not properly restrained.

Surprisingly, the Thanksgiving holiday weekend (Wednesday-Sunday) frequently outranks the other holidays in Kansas in number of driver impairment crashes. Those driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs endanger not only themselves, but also their passengers, other motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. On average, across Kansas five persons are killed or injured in alcohol-related crashes each day. According to KDOT, which tracks all crashes in the state, vehicle occupants in alcohol-related crashes are more than 2 ½ times likely to be injured or killed than those involved in crashes where alcohol or other drugs were not a factor.

Each week across Kansas more than 300 drivers are arrested for DUI (Driving Under the Influence). A DUI conviction will result in jail time, suspension or revocation of driver’s license, a fine of $500 to $2,500, participation in an alcohol treatment program, and purchase and installation of an ignition interlock device in the offender’s vehicle. It requires the driver to blow into a device that measures breath alcohol content prior to starting the car.

Always wear your seatbelt and don’t move the vehicle until all of your passengers are buckled in. It is both yours and your passenger’s best defense against death and injury, and it’s the law. It is not uncommon for a belted driver to survive a crash relatively unscathed, while an unbelted passenger is frequently killed or seriously injured – perhaps permanently.

Don’t put yourself in the position to have to live with these consequences for the rest of your life - BUCKLE UP for LIFE!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

On Wednesday November 14th, the Overland Park Police Department conducted its monthly Operation Impact Campaign which targeted aggressive driving, seat belt violations and other violations which can cause accidents or increase the severity of accidents.

The majority of the time was spent at Overland Park’s nine high schools enforcing seat belt and child car seat violations. More than 30 officers were involved in the campaign and the results are shown below.

24 – Adult Seat Belts

8 – Seat Belts (14-17 years old)

4 – Speeding

5 – Stop Sign Violations

4 – Insurance Violations

4 – Other Violations

38 Vehicles Stopped

49 – Total Citations Issued

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Upcoming Traffic Alerts:

• W. 167TH Street, between US69 Highway and Antioch Road will have intermittent closures beginning Thursday, November 15th until Friday, December 14th in order to mill and overlay 167th Street.

• There will be a lane of eastbound W. 151st Street, from England Street to Antioch Road that will be closed weekdays from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm. This is scheduled to begin on November 14th and continue thru December 7th, for bus transit improvements.

• There will also be one lane of westbound 137th street, and 135th street to Antioch, that will be closed weekdays from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm. This will begin on November 14th and go thru December 7th for bus transit improvements.

• The intersection of 92nd & Hemlock will be closed beginning Thursday, November 15th at 8:00 am until 9:00 am on Saturday, November 17th for storm sewer improvements.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Operation Impact and Special Seatbelt Enforcement

On Wednesday November 14th, the Overland Park Police Department will be participating in the monthly Operation Impact Campaign which targets aggressive driving, seat belt violations and other violations which can cause accidents or increase the severity of accidents.

While we will still be conducting traffic enforcement on our major thoroughfares, more than 30 officers will be enforcing seat belt and child car seat violations at each of our nine high schools. This special enforcement will occur mainly in the morning, but also will be conducted at specific locations in the afternoon hours.

The Child Passenger Safety Act (KSA 8-1343) requires:

• All children under age four must be in an appropriate federally-approved child safety seat.

• Children four years of age, but under the age of eight years, must be in an appropriate federally-approved child safety seat/booster seat UNLESS the child weighs more than 80 pounds OR is taller than 4'9" in height.

• Children eight years of age, but under the age of 14, must be protected by a safety belt.

The Kansas Safety Belt Use Act (KSA 8-2501) requires:

• Each occupant of a passenger car who is 14 years of age or older shall have a safety belt properly fastened at all times the vehicle is in motion.

• Each occupant of a passenger car 14 years of age, but younger than 18 years of age, in any seating position can be cited for this violation (KSA 8-2503(b).

• Front seat occupants of a passenger car who are 18 years of age or older can be cited for this violation.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Don’t Allow Criminals Easy Access to Your Car

With temperatures dropping we are reminded of a trend we’ve experienced many times in the past. Our Crime Analysis Unit compiled information on “idling stolen autos” and indicate there have been 24 such stolen autos over the last two winters. With this information in mind, we want to share an important auto theft prevention tip for the upcoming cold weather season.

For many years, it has been suggested to warm a vehicle before driving. According to current research, today’s sophisticated engine management systems require no warm up. By foregoing the warm up you will save gas, money and may reduce your chances of becoming a crime victim.

Leaving your car running unattended is also against the law. City ordinance 12.04.107 prohibits running a vehicle unattended with the keys in it unless a remote-starter is being used.

Stolen autos are not the only cold weather problem for our city. Some of you might have already experienced frost and ice buildup on your windshields in the morning. The ice always seems to be the thickest when we are running a little late.

Please take time to clear your windshield before you depart for your destination. If you don’t clean your windshield, it causes your vision to be obscured and you may not see a vehicle or pedestrian in your path.

In the past 22 months, there were 3 accidents in which the sole cause was ice/frost/fog buildup on windshields. The ordinance that prohibits having such a vision obstruction is 12.04.177.

The best way to prevent frost and ice buildup is to do some preventive measures the night before: cover your windows with an old blanket or piece of cardboard.

We hope these tips will be useful. Safeguarding our automobiles and maintaining them properly will reduce criminal activity and keep us safe.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Results of the Accident Awareness Campaign on November 7th

A Driver Awareness Campaign was conducted by the Overland Park Police Department on Wednesday, November 7th, 2012. The event consisted of six motorcycle officers from our Traffic Safety Unit during a seven hour period at various locations in our city. Most of the spots worked were Traffic Complaint Areas and High Accident Locations.

The following citations were issued:

Speeding – 58

Adult Seatbelt – 21

Seatbelt (under 18) - 6

Insurance Violations – 22

Red Light Violations – 3

Illegal Turns – 7

Following Too Close – 1

Driving Left of Center - 2

Driver’s License Violations – 5

Total Stops - 91

Total Citations – 125

Officers were looking for those violations that often result in accidents. They include violations for running red lights, following too closely, unsafe lane changes and aggressive driving. Officers also cited drivers and passengers who were observed not wearing their seat belts.

The next High Visibility Traffic Enforcement date is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, November 14th, 2012. The primary goals of the monthly enforcement initiatives are to reduce motor vehicle collisions through selective enforcement, education and deterrence.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

In Honor of Veteran’s Day

This Sunday we will take time to honor those who have given so much of themselves for our country. This will be the 93rd commemoration of the end of World War I, “the war to end all wars”. Frank Buckles, “the last doughboy standing” passed away in February of 2011. WWII veterans were dying at the rate of 740 a day in 2011.

Here in the Overland Park Police Department, many of our officers are former military and some of them are still active in the reserves. The scenario is the same at many police departments across the country. The disciplined regimen of military service is very conducive to the expectations within law enforcement.

Each year we set up a room where members of this department can display their military heritage during this week in November. These displays include personal and family military portraits, certificates, awards, uniforms and memorabilia for others to honor.

Also, the Sprint Corporation will hold its annual Veterans Day Celebration today at the World Headquarters Campus in Overland Park.

Sprint values and honors members of the military who serve our country and is widely recognized for its strong commitment to the military and veterans. Sprint has approximately 1,500 veteran employees and 44 of them are currently deployed.

The Overland Park Police Department will be participating in this event at Sprint with SWAT team, bomb squad and K9 demonstrations.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Team Work Results in Three Arrests for Burglary

Back in March of this year, we shared with you the acquisition of a new radio which greatly enhanced our ability to communicate with other agencies in a timely matter.

With the use of these new radios, officers from area agencies can monitor calls happening in real time throughout Johnson County. This is especially important when you have so many cities that border each other in the area. Yesterday was a good example of the effectiveness of this new radio system.

A female resident was driving down the street to her home when she noticed a vehicle backed into her driveway. She also observed three males, whom she didn’t recognize, loading a TV into their trunk. When she pulled up in front of her house they had a surprised look on their faces and jumped into their car. They drove through the grass to get around the homeowner’s vehicle and took off down the street. The victim was able to get a good description of the vehicle and the occupants to relay to police. Information to be on the lookout for the vehicle was broadcast via the radio and our mobile messaging systems to other agencies.

Officers in Shawnee were monitoring the radio and also saw the mobile messages regarding our suspect vehicle. A short time later they located our suspect vehicle and were able to make a stop on it. The subsequent investigation revealed that these were the suspects from the residential burglary.

The two adults involved were arrested and transported to the Johnson County Jail, and the juvenile was arrested and taken to the Juvenile Detention Center. All three suspects are awaiting formal charges in District Court.

This case is a great example of how good communication between agencies can be very beneficial, especially when time is of the essence. It is also a testament to the victim’s ability to process crucial information accurately during a stressful situation and to relay that information to the police.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Did You Know?

Currently, the city of Overland Park has around 65 polling sites, with more being added each year as the city continues to grow.

Although we don’t expect any problems, the police department is providing additional monitoring of these locations throughout the day.

This year’s election is expected to bring out a larger number of voters, and as such, our goal is to ensure that the residents of this city can fulfill their desire to vote in this or any other election without the fear of harm or retribution.

Monday, November 5, 2012

SRO’s Make Lasting Impressions

Officer Kenneth Braden
 With the school year now well under way our School Resource Officers (SROs) have been thinking back about all the students they have influenced and I want to share two examples of this with you.

Both examples are from Officer Kenneth Braden, a 22-year veteran of the police department and a long-time SRO at Blue Valley High School.

The first example is from a 2003 graduate of Blue Valley High School. After graduating, the student joined the United States Marine Corps. When he ended his active military service in 2011 the veteran was hired as a sheriff’s deputy with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office. The new deputy chose Officer Braden to pin on his badge since he considered Officer Braden a mentor.

The second example is from another graduate of Blue Valley High School. This student, who graduated several years ago, wrote a thank-you note to Officer Braden for showing hope and faith as she struggled with her grades. This student went to college where she was on the Dean’s list and is pursing a teaching career. The student wrote that Officer Braden gave her confidence and faith when others in her life did not.

These are just two examples of the extraordinary impact our SROs have on the lives of their students. They also are an example of one of three roles an SRO has (a law enforcement officer, a counselor, and a teacher). While each role can have a positive impact on students, Officer Braden discovered the counselor role can be the most rewarding.

For more information about our SRO program, check out the city’s website at

Friday, November 2, 2012

Accident Prevention Tips

As a follow up to Wednesday’s blog regarding the top ten accident locations in Overland Park, here are some key tips to remember when getting behind the wheel.

  • Always wear your seatbelt.

  • If impaired by alcohol or drugs, find a sober driver.

  • Avoid using your cell phone. This includes any form of texting.

  • If you must eat, pull off the road.

  • Don't tailgate. Leave at least 1 car length for every 10 mph.

  • Change radio stations while stationary.

  • Never apply makeup or groom hair while moving.

  • Look twice before backing.

  • Steer with your hands; not with your legs.

  • Don't speed - not even a little bit.

  • Concentrate, Concentrate and Concentrate.
Below is a chart which illustrates how we are doing as far as the number of accident reports we’ve taken this year compared to the last three years. All data is thru the end of September.

As you can see, overall accidents have continued to go down the last two years, while the number of injury accidents has remained the same.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Help to Identify Felony Theft Suspect

On October 20th, officers took a theft report at an area eye care store. Employees advised a white female entered the store and took five designer eyeglass frames, placed them in her bag and left the store without paying.

Surveillance video shows a white female possibly in her late 20`s or early 30’s, with short blond hair which was pulled back with a clip. She appears to be approximately 5’6”, heavyset, wearing a white t-shirt with black piping and a black sweater.

Anyone with information on the person in these photos is asked to contact the Overland Park Police at 913-344-8750.