Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween Safety Tips

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• Establish an appropriate curfew for children to return home.

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

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

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

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

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

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


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

New Overland Park Police Chief Sworn In

On Monday night at the Overland Park City Council meeting, Mayor Carl Gerlach conducted a swearing-in ceremony for Overland Park's newest Police Chief, Frank Donchez.

Donchez was police chief in Davenport, Iowa, prior to accepting the job in Overland Park. He replaces John Douglass who retired earlier this year after 41 years of service with the Overland Park Police Department.

He started his police career in Bethlehem, Penn., in 1981, rising to the rank of Police Commissioner. In 2006 through 2007, he was a consultant for the Easton, Penn., Police Department.

Donchez earned his law degree and became a licensed attorney in 2001. He was in private practice from 2001 to 2007. He is currently pursuing his master’s degree in public administration.

Other training and education experiences include the FBI National Academy; the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy Council; Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government; a bachelor’s degree in management from Moravian College; Drug Enforcement Administration Drug Unit Commander’s Academy; and United States Secret Service Dignitary Protection Training.

Donchez's first day was on Monday, Oct. 20th. Please join us in welcoming Chief Donchez as he begins his new journey with the Overland Park Police Department.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

BUYERS BEWARE - Counterfeit World Series Tickets

Yesterday, the Overland Park Police Department was contacted by a local ticket broker who said someone was just in their business trying to sell fake World Series tickets to an unsuspecting buyer.

The potential buyer went to the broker hoping to have the tickets authenticated. The broker told both of them the tickets were counterfeit and they soon left the store.

The ticket broker called the police and officers were able to make contact with the individual selling the fake tickets. Detectives were called in, and through their investigation, a total of four individuals were arrested for selling the counterfeit tickets.

Three of the four suspects came here from New York, and the other one is from Atlanta. The tickets were sold to victims through Craigslist or in person. We believe there are other victims out there who may have bought bogus tickets from these individuals.

Anyone who believes they may have purchased counterfeit tickets from these individuals are asked to call the Overland Park Police Department at (913) 895-6300.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Help Identify Auto Burglary Suspects

On July 2, 2014, Overland Park Police investigated an auto burglary in the 10500 block of Metcalf Avenue. The business at that location had two delivery trucks and another vehicle broken into during the overnight hours.

After reviewing surveillance video, it was determined the suspects approached and entered the vehicles on four different occasions during a two hour time period. Two suspects were seen at different times and both are believed to be responsible for all four incidences.

The suspects were able to steal over $2000 worth of miscellaneous hand tools from inside the vehicles.

The pictures below only show one of the suspects involved.

Anyone with information on the identity of the suspects is asked to call the Overland Park Police Department Tip-Line at (913) 344-8750.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

We Need Your Help to Identify Five Bold & Brazen Shoplifters

The Overland Park Police Department is requesting the public's assistance in identifying five females involved in shoplifting items at a local beauty supply store.

The females in the attached pictures hit a beauty supply store in Overland Park on September 27th and got away with over $1500 worth of high-end fragrances.

The females entered the store carrying large purses and headed directly to the fragrance area. They were observed placing items in their purses and then leaving the store. The alarm at the front door went off when they were exiting the store, but all of them refused to stop for employees who tried to confront them.

Anyone with information on the identity of these individuals is asked to contact the TIPS HOTLINE at 816-474-TIPS or Detective Byron Pierce at 913-535-3193.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Need Help Identifying Two Suspects Involved in the Theft of Fuel and Fuel Trailers

Overland Park Police Detectives are looking for assistance in identifying two suspects who have been stealing diesel fuel or the actual fuel tank and trailer. Since August 1, there have been four reports taken in the south end of the city. Two of the reports involved the thefts of the fuel tanks, and the other two were for siphoning the fuel from the tanks.

Surveillance cameras captured the suspects on two different dates.  

Please take a look at the attached photos. Anyone with information on these suspects or these crimes is asked to call the TIPS HOTLINE at 816-474-TIPS or the Overland Park Police at 913-344-8750.

Suspect #1

Suspect #2

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Overland Park Police Seeking Information on a Home Invasion/Aggravated Robbery

Overland Park Police responded on a reported aggravated robbery in the 12700 block of W. 120th Terrace this morning around 10:30 am.

The female victim told officers she had just arrived home and heard knocking at her front door. As she approached the door, the suspects broke out a window on the side of it and were able to gain access into the home. The two black males met her in the foyer as she started screaming at them to get out of the house. One of the males quickly grabbed the victim, put a knife up to her throat and took the necklace that she was wearing.

Both suspects ran to a white four-door vehicle that was parked in front. Someone else was driving as both of them got in the back seats. 

The suspects were both described as tall, skinny, and ranged in age from late teens to early 20's. They were also said to be wearing dark colored long-sleeved t-shirts and blue jeans.

If you have any information on this case, please call the TIPS HOTLINE at 816-474-TIPS, or the Overland Park Police Departments Investigation Division at 913-344-8750.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

UPDATE: Motorcyclist Dies From Injuries Received in an Accident on 9/28/14

On September 28, 2014, at approximately 12:02 p.m., the Overland Park Police Department responded to an injury accident that occurred in the area of W. 106th Street and Quivira Road.

Witnesses on scene told officers the motorcycle driver and his passenger crashed after being forced to swerve out of the way when another vehicle made an unsafe lane change in front of them.

The driver of the motorcycle was transported to a local hospital with life threatening injuries and his female passenger was transported with serious injuries. The driver has since died from his injuries and is identified as 59 year-old Overland Park Resident, Patrick Bernard Strader.

The Overland Park Police Traffic Safety Unit continues to investigate this accident.

Attempted Abduction of an 18 Year-Old Female

Yesterday, around 3:30 pm, we responded to the area of 158th and Ash Lane on an attempted abduction. The 18 year-old female victim reported she was grabbed from behind by a male while in the driveway of a residence. She was able to scream and fight back which caused the suspect to let go of her and flee. He was last seen getting into the passenger side of a van driven by another unidentified male.

The victim described the suspect as a 40 to 50 year-old Hispanic male, approximately 5’09, and heavy set. He was reportedly wearing a long-sleeved blue shirt with an animal design on it, jean shorts and burgundy shoes. The male had dark “spiked” style hair.

The suspect vehicle is described a cargo type “work” van with flat red paint.

The Overland Park Police Department is currently investigating and asks that anyone with information on this incident contact the TIPS HOTLINE at 816-474-TIPS or the Overland Park Police at 913-344-8750.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

DUI Saturation Patrol Scheduled for this Friday

The Overland Park, Kansas Police Department is conducting a DUI Saturation Patrol on this Friday, October 10, 2014. It is the police department’s goal to reduce alcohol related auto accidents and discourage impaired driving within the community. 

The DUI Saturation Patrol will begin at 10:00 PM, and the enforcement will not end until 2:00 AM.

Saturation Patrols typically occur on weekend nights and concentrate on heavily traveled streets and highways. To report an impaired driver in Overland Park, call Police Dispatch at 895-6300 or 911.

To avoid becoming a statistic, make arrangements to find a safe way home before celebrating. If you are impaired, call a taxi, or contact someone sober to come pick you up.