Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Safe Holiday Travel

In the last few days we've concentrated on supplying our readers with helpful holiday shopping safety tips, but today we want to remind those of you who will be traveling to keep several things in mind to ensure a safe trip to and from.

The most important thing we need to say up front: Devote your full time and attention to driving!

Resist distraction. If you feel yourself getting tired, pull over and take a break (at a safe location where there are other people and light).

Develop the habit of scanning for situational awareness. Use your mirrors frequently to check behind and to your sides. Look ahead, as far down the road as possible, to anticipate slow-downs, stops, snarls, crashes, emergencies, or other events which will affect traffic flow. Avoid the "tunnel vision" which often occurs during monotonous highway driving as you focus only immediately ahead or where your headlights reach.

If you experience a breakdown, pull as far onto the shoulder as possible and turn your emergency flashers on. If you have a cellular phone, summon assistance from a reputable source or call for law enforcement response. Otherwise, raise your hood or tie a streamer to your antenna, and await assistance inside your locked vehicle.

If a stranger stops, speak to them through a partially rolled-down window, and ask them to go to a phone and call police or a tow service; do not exit your vehicle until a law enforcement officer or tow operator are on scene. On longer trips, be sure you have water, food, and blankets in the vehicle.

Should you observe anyone pulled off the roadway and apparently stranded or in need of assistance, extend them the courtesy of reporting your observation to the police at your earliest opportunity.

NEVER pick up hitchhikers (your parents were right!)

If involved in a property-damage collision in an unfamiliar or potentially unsafe location, do not open or exit your vehicle. If you have a cellular telephone, summon law enforcement. If not, acknowledge the accident by hand signal, and motion the other driver to proceed with you to a safe location (where there are other people and light) to exchange information. If unable to proceed, honk the horn to attract attention and ask a passer-by to summon police.

Criminals sometimes deliberately cause minor car crashes in order to rob the occupants or steal the vehicle (so-called "bump-and-rob" or carjacking). If you are involved in a collision which seems suspicious, remain in your vehicle. Get as far off the roadway as possible, and turn on your emergency flashers. Do NOT get out to inspect for damage or to exchange information.

Summon a law enforcement officer or signal the other driver to follow you to a location where you can safely do so. If necessary, sound the horn to attract attention and await help while secure in your vehicle.

If the driver of another vehicle tries to force you off the road, do not stop. Slow to a safe speed, and proceed to a safe location. Try to obtain the license plate number and a description of the other vehicle and its driver and any occupants. Report the occurrence to the police at your earliest opportunity.

Keep your car in gear while stopped at traffic signals or signs. If approached in a threatening manner, honk the horn to attract attention and drive away (as you can do so safely).

Consider car-pooling or ride sharing only IF you have a dependable means of assuring that the other participants are legitimate and safe. Some jurisdictions maintain a central coordinating office for such services; check your telephone directory or on-line. Ride sharing for long trips is NOT recommended unless you are personally acquainted with the other party and fully trust them and have confidence in their driving ability and common sense. Remember; you life is literally in their hands while they're behind the wheel.

Before your trip — Consider leaving a copy of your travel itinerary with a trusted family friend or relative (plus a driving route map or flight/bus/train trip info).

If signaled to stop by any vehicle other than a clearly marked law enforcement unit, acknowledge the signal, and wave the driver to follow you to a safe location (where there are other people and light). Drive within the speed limit and take the shortest possible route to the nearest safe place. If you have a cellular phone, dial 9-1-1, tell the call-taker you are being followed by an unmarked vehicle attempting to stop you, and ask them to send a marked law enforcement vehicle to your location.

When parking...
roll up the windows, lock the vehicle, take the keys, and insure your valuables are concealed (preferably in the trunk). During hours of darkness, park and walk in lighted areas to the extent possible.

While carrying large amounts of cash should be avoided, you should have enough small bills and change to cover on-the-road purchases, including fuel should you run low while in an area where stations don’t accept the cards you carry. Enough for a half-tank fillup, taxi or bus fare, snacks and drinks or a phone call should be sufficient. Traveler’s checks are safer, but are not universally accepted. Keep your wallet, purse, and any other valuables on your person or otherwise out of sight, NOT on the seat next to you.

If you must leave valuable items in your car while out and about, place items out of sight before reaching your destination or move them inconspicuously. This includes packages, backpacks, gym bags, GPS units, MP3 players, and so forth. Someone may be watching when you put items under/behind a seat or throw something over them. An opportunistic thief is on the lookout for "trunk-packing", and can break into your car the minute you're out of sight.

One reason SUVs and pickups are common auto-burglary targets is because they don't have a "trunk" to hold valuables — the driver/passenger generally just "hides" their valuables "out of sight". The thieves know this, and do check glove compartments, behind seats, and under seats. It only takes a few seconds to check all the "usual" hiding places.

Unobtrusively locking everything valuable "in the trunk" (if you have one) may be difficult when you're combining errands at multiple destinations. Certainly avoid leaving packages or shopping bags visible in your car - lock them in the trunk out of sight if you have to leave packages in your car unattended.

Plan your shopping/errands so that you don't load your trunk until you are ready to drive to another destination. Load your trunk when you leave a location — never open a trunk, fill it full of valuables, close it, and then just walk away to do more shopping or other errands.

Source of information, courtesy of the University of Oklahoma Police Department, http://www.ou.edu/oupd

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Never Hurts to Be Aware

While we haven't had heard of any recent reports regarding ATM skimming in the area for a while now, the busy holiday shopping season always bring out clever criminals who are willing to go beyond the norm in order to steal your money. The information below is just another way in which we hope to educate everyone on the many ways to NOT be a victim this season.

Have you been watching your ATM records lately?  If you haven’t been, you should get into the practice of doing so.  It would be no fun to find out someone has drained your bank account.  And it would probably surprise you to learn they could do so without your ATM card ever leaving your possession.  How?  ATM skimming.

Criminals have used several different methods to get your credit card and debit card numbers.  They can obtain the information on line, over the phone through telephone scams and even read the magnetic strip at any place where they may have access to your physical card when you make a purchase.  (Think about a waiter or waitress at a restaurant who isn’t really as nice as they seem.  When they leave to run your card, they can run it through a skimming device at the same time).  A less known tactic that is starting to show up around the area is ATM skimming.

ATM skimming occurs when someone attaches a card reading device to an ATM.  This happens around the actual card reader.  You insert your card and it passes first through the skimming device, then through the ATM card reader.  Presto!  You still get to make your withdrawal, but now the bad guy has the information from your debit card to be used later.  Tiny cameras can be inconspicuously mounted near the keypad to capture your pin number.  Isn’t technology grand?

Are you thinking you would know the difference between a legitimate card reader and one with a skimming device attached?  Take a look at some of these pictures (courtesy of Commonwealth Bank) and see if you can tell the difference.





So how can you avoid being a victim?  Here are a couple of common suggestions we’ve been able to find:

Watch for odd or unusual activity around the ATM - Criminals need an opportunity to attach skimming devices and PIN reading cameras so ATMs that are not closely monitored have an increased risk of being a target.  Information is often transmitted by way of Bluetooth type device.  This means criminals are usually close by receiving the information being transmitted.

Be familiar with the appearance of you ATM – By using the same ATM or a select few ATMs you will have a better chance of spotting something out of the ordinary.  Look for scratches, marks, tape or glue residue.  

Shield the keypad when entering your PIN – Remember criminals are usually trying to get the PIN number and the magnetic strip information.  If you miss the skimming device, you will want to try to at least protect your PIN

Pay attention to activity on your account – Look for any transactions that are not yours or unauthorized.  You should be doing this regularly anyway.

If you think something is not right with an ATM, don’t use it.  Report suspicious findings to the bank or authorities.  Skimming devices are becoming more common.  They have been reported on locations besides ATMs as well, such as pay at the pump gas stations.  ATM / debit cards are convenient, but with anything that is convenient there is a risk that someone out there is looking for an easy payday.  Do your part to keep from being another victim.

For more information regarding spotting skimming devices visit:

http://www.co.orange.nc.us/sheriff/general/ATM%20Skimming.pdf

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Strong Finish

As 2013 is rapidly coming to a close, we want to take a few minutes to remind everyone to be extra cautious and safe behind the wheel this holiday season. In looking at the data regarding traffic crashes through October of this year, it looks as though the numbers for injury accidents are trending to finish slightly lower than last year.

In fact, injury accidents are down almost 3.5% from this time last year, and fatality accidents have gone down from six in 2012, to two in 2013 (-66%). We still have two months left, including several major holidays and the possibility of inclement weather. That's why we want to remind everyone to continue their safe driving skills and not let the extra stress and pressure of the holidays cause distracted driving.

Let's do our best to close out 2013 with the continued downward trend we're currently experiencing. The Overland Park Police Department wants everyone to have a safe holiday season. Together we can make it happen.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Buckling Up Could Save Your Giblets


The phrase above sounds funny but the message from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is certainly a serious topic during the upcoming holiday travel season. 

The Overland Park Police Department will be conducting a Thanksgiving Mobilization S.T.E.P. Campaign from November 25th through December 1st.  This task is being conducted with the goal to focus on DUI violations, reduce alcohol related auto accidents, and discourage impaired driving.  Officers will also be focusing on seat belt violations, texting while driving, and distracted driving.

According to the MADD website, drunk driving deaths have increased for the first time in six years. And not just by a little by almost five percent. Data just released shows that 10,322 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in 2012 – one every 51 minutes. This means that as we approach the holidays, thousands of brokenhearted families, friends and loved ones are facing empty chairs at the dinner table.      

The risk of being involved in a serious or deadly car crash increases when the number of cars on the roadway increases, and the long Thanksgiving weekend is one of the busiest travel times of the year. So we want to remind everyone that your seat belts can save your life – and those you are traveling with.

This Thanksgiving, the Overland Park Police Department, highway safety advocates, and law enforcement officers across the country are spreading the message and reminding travelers to always wear their seat belts anytime they're riding in a motor vehicle.

According to NHTSA, seat belts saved almost 12,000 lives nationwide in 2011. In fact, research shows that with proper seat belt use, the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers is reduced by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury is reduced by 50 percent.  

Since such a simple step can be the difference between life and death, one would think everyone would always wear their seat belts while in a car. Yet that is not the case. Too many people still don’t use these lifesavers, and unfortunately, deaths which could have been prevented keep occurring every day.

Remember: Buckle Up America - Every Trip, Every Time. You’ll be thankful you did.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

"Wait, You're Not Supposed to Leave"

On November 14th around 10:33 p.m., Overland Park Police responded to a report of an attempted armed robbery that occurred at a restaurant in the 10500 block of Metcalf Ave.  

The suspect entered the business and demanded the employee to open the cash register. He claimed to have a weapon in his pocket that he would use if she didn't comply.  Instead, the employee quickly left the register area and yelled for others inside to call 911. Our suspect fled the business without the cash after the cashier’s unexpected maneuver. 

Thankfully, no one was injured and, better yet, the would-be robber went away empty-handed. However, we still want to identify him and hold him accountable for his actions.

The suspect is described as a white male in his early 20’s, approximately 5’10” tall, with a thin build, short dark hair, and an olive complexion.  He was wearing a black jacket and dark pants.  The suspect was seen leaving the area in a silver Jeep Liberty.

Please look at the pictures below and if you have information on this person’s identity, contact the TIPS HOTLINE at 816-474-TIPS or the Overland Park Police at 913-344-8750.



Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Winter Weather Awareness Day

Did you know that today is Winter Weather Awareness Day? November 20th has been designated this year by the National Weather Service in Topeka and the Kansas Division of Emergency Management as a day to remind Kansas residents to prepare for the hazards winter weather can bring.

Winter weather can bring rapidly changing conditions but there are several things you can do ahead of time to prepare for any possible hazards the season  may bring. Knowing how to prepare for these circumstances can make all the difference when adversity sets in.

According to Overland Park Emergency Management Coordinator, Kyle Burns, "Emergencies happen; being prepared for an emergency can help protect you and your family. The whole point of being prepared is to do as much as possible before a major event occurs."

Burns also goes on to say that it is very important to be prepared in case a winter storm strikes.   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.

Additional weather-related information can be found online at the following sites (courtesy of The Adjutant General’s Department of  Public Affairs Office): 

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 at www.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 19, 2013

Thin Blue Line


     This week the Independence Police Department is mourning the loss of one of its own.  Our hearts go out to the family of Officer James Lockard, who was laid to rest this week.  When I say family, I am not just referring to his mother, father, siblings, or spouse.  I am referring to a much larger family, consisting of men and woman all over the country who stand together as officers to form the "Thin Blue Line". 

     When looking back at the history of the term "Thin Blue Line", there is evidence of generations of those who took an oath to stand together to protect those who could not protect themselves.  The term was derived from the original "Thin Red Line", which was a military action led by British Army Field Marshall Colin Campbell, in 1854.  Campbell lined up his men, the Red Coats, two abreast and marched into a battle in which they were severely outnumbered.   Campbell told his men, "There is no retreat from here, men.  You must die where you stand."  Campbell's relationship with his men was known as being like a family.  The Thin Red Line was victorious, as the men stood side by side and marched into battle.

     Often we see television shows and movies that depict police officers and the daily drama they are enveloped in.  While these depictions provide entertainment to many, they do not edify the strong bonds that are formed between officers.  You can ask any officer on the street and they will tell you some of the best friends they have ever had were fellow officers.  Similar to family dynamics, there are good times and bad, times to laugh and times to cry.  All of the experiences we share further strengthen our bonds with each other and we know it's more than just friendship, it's family.

     Police officers take an oath to serve and protect, but what is not mentioned is the sacrifice they will make and the sacrifice their families make for the benefit of a stranger.  Making these sacrifices and experiencing the most trying of situations is what draws this family closer together, as we depend on each other to get through each day and keep our heads high.  While our hearts ache for Independence PD, know that we will never forget and we will continue to march on, with our heads high, as one Thin Blue Line. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Graduation Day for CPA Members

On Tuesday, November 12th, the Overland Park Police Department held a special graduation ceremony for the 11 participants of our latest Citizen's Police Academy. 

The goal of the Academy is to create educated citizens on basic information regarding the police profession. These citizens can then return to their neighborhoods better informed to improve the relationship between the community and the police department.

In the eight-week academy, participants learned about patrol operations, firearms training and weapons systems, crime analysis, narcotics, traffic enforcement and more. Participants got to see through the eyes of the instructors, and participated in "hands on" practicals, giving them an in-depth experience into what it's like to be an Overland Park Police Officer. 

They also had opportunities to observe and interact with tactical police equipment and vehicles through demonstrations by the police K-9 unit and SWAT team.
Thanks to these eleven who volunteered their time in order to better their communities and hopefully gained a greater appreciation of the inner-workings of the police department.

If you're interested in joining our next Citizen's Police Academy, you can either call Officer Betsy Selman at 913-469-8500 Ext. 4653 or send her an email at: elizabeth.selman@opkansas.org for more information.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

With the holiday shopping season nipping at our heels, we've asked our Community Policing Division to prepare a few tips to help keep you safe during this time.

·       Travel safely: Make sure everyone wears a seatbelt, and if the weather doesn’t want to cooperate, slow down and give yourself plenty of room. You can’t enjoy the holidays if you don’t arrive safely.

·       Limit the distractions: Remember driving is a full time occupation. Driving distracted (phone, text, music) is dangerous. Leave the distractions turned off so you can arrive safely.

·       Out of sight, out of mind: When shopping, conceal packages in the trunk of your vehicle. Leaving all those expensive purchases lying on the back seat in plain view is an open opportunity for a car burglar. When you arrive home, please don’t display gifts openly, especially rooms that can be viewed from your front porch.

·       Shop light: When shopping, just carry the bare minimum. Leave you purse and bulky billfold at home. Carry only a driver license and one or two credit cards. If your credit card is lost or stolen, report it immediately to the credit card company so you will not be responsible for charges you did not make.

·       Candle safety: Candles make beautiful decorations, but beware of the fire risk. There are several new candle look-a-likes on the market now that utilize a safe long lasting LED bulb that won’t cause your holiday to go up in smoke.

·       Keep gifts out of view. Your family room might look like a Thomas Kinkade painting with the gifts placed around the tree, but this makes short work for a burglar. There are plenty of “Grinches” out there

·       Keep your doors locked:  Keep them locked, even when you are at home. Over half of all burglaries occur through unsecured doors. Keep your garage door closed and don’t forget to lock your car even if it is parked in the driveway or garage.


·       Know your neighbors:  If you plan on being out of town over the holidays let a trusted neighbor or friend know your plans and provide them a phone number just in case. Make sure to arrange to have the trash put out at the curb on trash day, and have the mail picked up or stopped. Don’t forget to shut the water off to your washing machine and have someone do a walk through of your home just in case the furnace goes out. It would ruin the holiday to return home to frozen or broken pipes.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Take a Number

No, if you have a complaint we won’t make you take a number.  Actually the process to have your complaint or concern, or even a compliment for that matter, regarding contact with a member of the Overland Park Police Department is not that complicated.

When a police supervisor or internal affairs detective receives a complaint, an initial statement is taken from the complainant and followed up on by the Internal Affairs Unit.  The involved employee and any other police department witnesses will be required to respond to the complainant’s allegation.  The investigation results will be reviewed by both the Professional Standards Commander and the involved employee’s Division Commander.  That final disposition will be communicated in writing to the complainant and the involved employee.

The police department has an Internal Affairs Unit that accepts and thoroughly investigates all complaints.  We investigate for several reasons:
- To protect citizens from actual misconduct by an employee
- To protect the department and those employees who conduct themselves appropriately
- To identify policies and procedures that may need review or change and find ways to improve the quality of our service to the community.

You should know that the department does not consider a disagreement over the elements of a traffic ticket or parking ticket to be a complaint.  That matter is best resolved by the municipal court as a neutral fact-finder.

Any compliment or complaint can be reported by calling:
Police Dispatch:  913-895-6300 (request to speak with a Police Supervisor)
Sergeant’s Desk:  913-327-6895 or 6896
Internal Affairs:  913-327-6710

Or you can send an email: PDProfessionalStandards@opkansas.org

Sometimes being a police officer is a thankless job and good service deserves to be recognized as much as that upon which we can improve.  That being said, if you feel you received exceptional service from one of the police department members, we encourage you to share that by contacting any of the numbers above or sending an email.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Who Turned Out The Lights?

As law enforcement officers in a mid-sized metropolitan city, it's our job to patrol the streets and protect our citizens from those who mean to do you harm or take your property. During the course of our jobs we sometimes find ourselves involved in certain things because we were either in the right spot at the right time or had a little luck on our side. Sometimes it’s just a result of good old-fashioned police work.

In the early morning hours of Sunday, November 3rd, all of the things mentioned above came into play with one Overland Park police supervisor. Sergeant Kyle Livengood was on routine patrol in the area of W. 159th and Quivira Road around 3:30 A.M. when he came upon a male and two females standing next to a vehicle that appeared to be broken down. To Sgt. Livengood this initially appeared to be nothing more than a motorist assist call, but because of his training and experience, was soon able to figure out this was something way more than a breakdown.

Sgt. Livengood happened to be patrolling the 159th Street corridor because we've had a rash of copper thefts along that area. These have included losses from several construction sites as well as from three city street lights.

As Sgt. Livengood began to ask the trio questions, he felt their answers didn't make sense. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that before he encountered the three subjects on the roadway, he saw there were at least three streetlights out along that stretch of road. The behavior and responses from the three certainly piqued the interest of this seasoned officer.

While the Sergeant was looking inside the vehicle, he noticed the rear cargo area of the SUV was stuffed with a large amount of black cable wiring. Even more interesting was that a spool of the same type of wiring was on the sidewalk where the male was standing when the officer pulled up.

Sgt. Livengood then called for backup and a more extensive interrogation commenced. These three were now considered theft suspects. The investigation that night confirmed there were a total of seven street lights that had been opened and damaged as a result of having the wire pulled out of them. 

The estimated value of the copper within the wiring is believed to be around $650, but the cost to replace the damage caused by the theft will be well into the thousands of dollars. This type of theft is not only very costly but it's also extremely dangerous. People have been electrocuted across the country trying to pull off similar stunts.

The male suspect was arrested and was charged with felony theft and criminal damage to property. The two females were released pending further investigation. Detectives are also trying to determine if these same individuals may be linked to previous copper thefts in the area. 

They are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Mercury Was Rising

Yesterday the Overland Park Fire and Police Departments responded to a hazardous material call in 9100 block of Riggs Lane before 9:30 A.M. The resident at that location told dispatchers that she was worried about some mercury that had spilled out of an antique grandfather clock and was now on their deck.

At first glance you wouldn't really think there would be that much mercury to worry about, but in this case it was more than enough to force the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to declare the apartment unsafe for occupancy.

Who knew that an antique grandfather clock could have as much as ten pounds of mercury stored in tubes used as counterweights.

The apartment and surrounding are will be cleaned to make it safe once again for occupancy.

According to the press release by the Overland park Fire Department -Mercury spills are not uncommon, but the amount of mercury involved in this incident is rare. The Overland Park Fire Department wants to remind residents that if they have mercury or unknown substances in need of disposal, they should contact their local hazardous waste disposal agency.

Here's the link to the entire press release released by the fire department yesterday:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/88190397/News%20Release%20Mercury%20Spill%2011-11-13.pdf



Monday, November 11, 2013

Have You Had Anything To Drink Tonight?

Here are the results of the Non-Grant DUI Saturation Patrol which was conducted on Friday, November 8th.  This consisted of three Traffic Safety Officers patrolling specific areas of the city from the hours of 10:00 P.M. until 2:00 A.M.

2     - DUI arrests
2     - Drivers tested for DUI
1     - Red Light violations 
2     - Lane Change violations
1     - Driver’s license violations
1     - No Insurance violations 
5     - Other Traffic violations   
5     - Total vehicles stopped    

In addition to the two arrested above, our patrol units removed ten more intoxicated drivers from the streets of Overland Park over the weekend.

As you can see from the numbers over the weekend, the Overland Park Police Department will continue its zero-tolerance approach to intoxicated driving in an effort to make the roadways safer for all.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Think-Before You Drink & Drive

Tonight, from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am, the Overland Park Police Department will conduct a DUI Saturation Patrol. A team of Traffic Safety Unit officers will hit the streets for one purpose, arresting impaired drivers. 

The Saturation Patrol will focus on major thoroughfares, highways and those areas which include drinking establishments. As we've mentioned in previous blogs, the Overland Park Police Department is committed to removing impaired drivers from our roadways. 

So far this year (through October 31st), 537 drivers have been arrested in Overland Park for driving under the influence. During that same time frame, there have been 109 alcohol-related crashes that we've investigated. 

From the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)- The good news is that alcohol and drug-related traffic fatalities are at an all-time low. The bad news is that impaired driving fatalities account for 38 percent of all motor vehicle deaths. That's one person killed every 33 minutes and one person injured every two minutes. We've come a long way in the battle against impaired driving, but it continues to be one of the most serious national problems.

Remember, if you choose to drink, please don't drive.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Seat Covers, Fuzzy Dice and a Red LED Light??

Sounds like an eclectic list of items in our title above, but these are actually items purchased by an individual using a stolen credit card at an area retail store. The subject obviously needed those items to "trick out" his ride, but we would like to talk to him to find out why he was using someone else's credit card in order to buy them.

Our victim in this case had her wallet taken from inside her car sometime during the night of October 31st.

The stores surveillance video shows a "light skinned" male in his 20`s at the terminal. The male had a "chin strap" style beard. He was wearing a black long sleeved shirt, black pants with white stripes, and a red bandana on his head. He also was observed purchasing a video game with a different credit card before he used our victim's card to purchase the seat cover, dice, and LED light. 

The male is seen on the surveillance camera exiting the store and walking to a dark, four-door sedan or passenger vehicle which also appears to have a sunroof.

The detective assigned to this case needs assistance in identifying the person in the photos below.  

If you can identify this individual, please contact Detective John Sanders at 913-344-8725.



Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Hospitalizes Four Family Members

This morning around 7:30, a passerby noticed a teenaged male lying in the grass in front of a house in the 8000 block of W. 121st Terrace. The Good Samaritan stopped to check on the male and was told there were others inside the house who may be hurt or sick.

Both the Overland Park Fire and Police Departments responded located three other victims inside the house. All told, there were two adult females, two juvenile males, aged sixteen and nine.  All were taken to an area hospital with life threatening injuries as the result of high levels of carbon monoxide poisoning. One of the adults is currently listed in critical condition.

Investigators with the Fire Department quickly located a running vehicle in the garage with the door closed. The investigation has indicated this was nothing more than a tragic mistake, and certainly a good time to remind everyone about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Here's a link to the press release from the Fire Department with more information:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/88190397/News%20Release%20CO%20Medical%2011-6-13.pdf

Here's another link, courtesy of our OPFD, regarding Carbon Monoxide detectors:

http://www.opkansas.org/city-government/fire-department/fire-special-services-and-programs/carbon-monoxide-co-detectors-save-lives/

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Hard Work Pays Off

The link below will take you to a press release that was issued on October 31st by the United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Missouri, announcing the arrests of four people for their roles in a case involving stolen vehicles, credit cards, checks and drugs. 

http://www.justice.gov/usao/mow/news2013/welte.ple.html

Overland Park lead Detective, Dennis Reaser, and the Investigation's Division contributed countless hours of effort on this case in order to help bring these people to justice. This was obviously a joint effort between several jurisdictions and the results certainly wouldn't have been possible without the cooperation from the people in those organizations. Thanks to everyone involved for a job well done!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Got a Ticket?

You didn’t want one, but now that you’ve got it, you have to do something with it. You can’t just put it in the glove box and forget about it. You might want to throw it on the ground in disgust but we strongly discourage that. Even though those aren’t good options, you do have a couple of choices after receiving a traffic ticket.

To begin with, you have the choice to enter a plea of not guilty or guilty. If you choose to plead not guilty, you will be assigned a court date by a judge to question the facts as presented by a city prosecutor who presents the city’s version of events. You may choose whether to testify and present evidence supporting your version of events.
Once a judge has heard the facts a decision will be rendered based on the evidence presented.

Another option is to plead guilty or no contest, and pay a fine. To do that you first have to determine if your ticket requires a mandatory court appearance or simply pay a fine. If a mandatory court appearance is required, you must appear on that scheduled date and time.

Failure to appear will result in a warrant being issued for your arrest and your driver’s license may be suspended. If your ticket has a mandatory court appearance, the judge will advise you of the fine amount during your court appearance.

Traffic tickets that do not require a court appearance may be paid online, by mail or dropped off at one of the city’s drop boxes. Information about online payments and drop-box locations are available on line: http://www.opkansas.org/city-government/overland-park-municipal-court/how-to-pay-your-court-fines/ or it can be found on your ticket.

You’ll want to make sure you pay the amount on the ticket or look it up at http://www.opkansas.org/city-government/overland-park-municipal-court/traffic-fines-and-violations/.  Pay only what you are required to pay. Do not pay double and assume your ticket will be amended from a moving to a non-moving violation. 

The only way to amend a ticket is to speak with a city prosecutor and have your case reviewed. You may schedule an appointment to meet with a city prosecutor by calling 913-327-6800.

If you are not paying your ticket in person, do not wait until the last minute.  It may take up to three days to process your payment once it is received. Allow plenty of time for postal service delivery.

One more thing, if you get a ticket for failure to show proof of insurance at the time of your stop, the ticket may be dismissed if you are able to provide proof your vehicle was properly insured at the time of the stop.

You will need to present proof that the vehicle was insured at the time of the stop, by way of email at verifyinsurance@opkansas.org or by fax at 913-890-1499. 

That proof will be forwarded to the state for verification. If you receive notice from the state that the insurance was unable to be verified, don’t ignore the correspondence. Your license could be suspended if you do not take action.

Hopefully this gives you some direction and a better option than stuffing your ticket in your glove box and paying the consequences later. For more information, you can always contact the Overland Park Municipal Court at:  913-327-6800.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Increased Anti-Fraud and Theft Initiative Underway

The Overland Park Police Department has begun their increased Anti-Theft and Fraud Initiative for the upcoming holiday season.  Although enforcement takes place year round, the efforts increase during the holidays as does the number of individuals who are looking to take advantage of businesses and consumers.  Oak Park Mall is the largest retail complex in Overland Park and will have an increased detective presence, but the anti-crime information and the organized retail crime programs will be available to all businesses throughout Overland Park.

As always, officers will continue to be in the retail locations for enforcement against all categories of crimes.  There are numerous crime prevention strategies that can serve to make area businesses safer and more secure. This holiday initiative is a very effective example of one of them.

With the approach of Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, retailers will experience increased criminal activity as the number of shoppers multiplies. Awareness and preparedness will help in the detection and deterrence of crime.