Friday, February 28, 2014

Follow Up to Story from Wednesday

On Wednesday, February 26th, we posted the story below and asked our readers, along with the media, for help in identifying the suspects. Thanks to the help of the public and our media partners, the suspects have been identified and are awaiting charges through the Johnson County District Attorney's Office.

We want to express our gratitude for the help we received which was instrumental in solving this case. 

The suspects, a juvenile and an adult, should be considered innocent until proven guilty.
  


Our Investigations Division is currently working related grab and run cases from a retail establishment.  They are releasing the attached photos of two suspects that they would like to identify from the most recent incident.

The suspects in this case entered the store, grabbed handfuls of men's clothing and ran out the front door.

They were seen leaving in a black four-door sedan with no tags.

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

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Armed Robbery at Interstate Federal Savings and Loan

At 12:20 p.m. on February 27, 2014, Overland Park Police responded to an armed robbery at Interstate Federal Bank, located at 8629 Metcalf.  

Bank employees told officers three men came into the bank, each displaying a handgun and demanding money from the teller.  

The teller complied with the demand and the suspect left the bank.  No one was injured. No packages or items were left behind by the robber.

The suspects were described by witnesses as two black males,  with the 3rd suspect described as a Hispanic male or possibly a black male with a light complexion. All of them were wearing dark colored hooded sweatshirts with bandanas over their faces.

The suspects were seen leaving the bank in a dark blue or black colored sedan.  

No further information is available at this time.

Anyone with information on this crime should contact the FBI 816-512-8100 or the TIPS HOT LINE at 816-474-TIPS.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Help Identify Repeat Grab and Run Thieves

Our Investigations Division is currently working related grab and run cases from a retail establishment.  They are releasing the attached photos of two suspects that they would like to identify from the most recent incident. 

The suspects in this case entered the store, grabbed handfuls of men's clothing and ran out the front door.  

They were seen leaving in a black four-door sedan with no tags.

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



Tuesday, February 25, 2014

School Seatbelt Awareness Campaign

Starting yesterday and running through March 7th, the Overland Park Police Department will join other Kansas Law Enforcement agencies to stop what has been an epidemic for the past several years. In 2013, 31 teens lost their lives and 240 were seriously injured due to car crashes in Kansas; 74% of those teens were NOT PROPERLY RESTRAINED.

In an effort to change this trend, law enforcement from across Kansas will be extra-vigilant when patrolling around schools. For more than twenty years, officers have educated and warned passengers and drivers regarding the importance of using restraints while in their vehicle.

There should be no surprises when it comes to this enforcement effort. Officers will issue citations to any individual who does not obey the traffic laws, whether it is for speeding, aggressive driving, texting or failing to buckle up.

The safety of our young drivers is a high priority for this department. Parents have a great influence on teen drivers and we encourage them to be an example by buckling up themselves.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Request For Information: Dog Bite 13100 Block of Carter

Saturday surely was a day to be out enjoying the weather, but one Overland Park resident ended up spending her Saturday afternoon at the hospital.  She explained to responding police officers that she was in her backyard at home with her dog.  Her dog, like some others, has a talent for jumping fences.  When her canine jumped the fence from the backyard to the front yard, she, of course, went running after him.

The excitement only intensified as her dog ran to the location of another dog being walked nearby by a couple of teenagers.  While trying to grab her own pet, the other dog bit her hand.

Our resident explained that the teenagers and their dog left the area to help deescalate the situation and the father of the teen returned a short time later to make contact with her. She eventually went to the hospital for medical treatment.

It sounds like the teenagers and their father are trying to do the right thing, but police still need to identify them to complete their report.

The boy walking the canine at the time of the incident was described to be a white male around 15 years old.  He was accompanied by another white male who appeared to be slightly younger.  The father who returned with the teen later was described to be a white male in his 40’s or 50’s.

The dog was described as a larger brown dog, similar to a Labrador retriever, and thought to be around 80 lbs.  He was secured by a leash with a harness and a muzzle style leader.  They are thought to live in the area of 131st Street and Carter where the incident took place. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Sgt. Joe Reed Retires After 35 Years

Today at 2:00, we held a retirement ceremony for Sergeant Joe Reed, who is finishing up his career with the police department after 35 years. Sergeant Reed has been a faithful and respected member of this department during that time and he will certainly be missed.

Wasting no time after graduating from college, Joe quickly began what would prove to be a long and distinguished career with the Overland Park Police Department.

During his 35 years with the department, he has served in numerous roles and assignments such as Patrol Officer, Warrant Officer, Evidence Technician, Burglary Detective, Patrol Sergeant, supervisor in the Professional Standards Unit and, most recently, he was assigned to oversee the Financial Crimes Unit as a Sergeant.

Joe has been a long-time member of the Kansas City Metro Squad and was assigned as its “Lead Officer” on several major investigations.

Joe’s experience, commitment and leadership were instrumental in the successful prosecution of many high-profile cases, not only with the Metro Squad, but as a supervisor in the Investigations Division.


Please join us as we congratulate Joe Reed on all of his accomplishments and his retirement from the Overland Park Police Department. We wish him luck on all his future endeavors.



Wednesday, February 19, 2014

It's Happening Again - Cell Phone Fraud

On Tuesday, the Overland Park Police Department was contacted by an area electronics retailer advising us of a group of individuals using the homeless to obtain new cell phones. The suspects were from Illinois and were using the indigent to sign up for new contracts, which they obviously had no intent to honor, in order to obtain high-end cell phones. 

There was a total of seven individuals arrested in connection with that case from yesterday and are awaiting charges through the Johnson District Attorney's Office.

The information below was put out around this time last year and details the arrest of another group from Detroit, Michigan.


Friday, February 1, 2013

“Homeless Cell Phone Fraud” Suspects Arrested 
Overland Park Police Detectives have been warning area cell phone retailers about a group traveling across the country recruiting homeless or indigent people to buy cell phones on their behalf. This profitable scam has been evident to us since 2010, with groups from all over the country coming to the Midwest to scam retailers out of new, expensive smart phones.

The suspects would recruit people from homeless shelters, blood banks, and off the street, to get them to sign up for a cell phone contract in order to qualify for a new phone. The enlisted individuals are promised a cash payment between $25.00 - $50.00 on average for their participation in acquiring cellular telephone service. Cellular telephone providers through their promotion would offer a free telephone with the purchase of a telephone with a 2-year service contract.  

In some cases, the service contracts would contain false information which makes it impossible for cellular telephone providers to collect when the contract defaults, or the participant in the fraud has no intentions of fulfilling the 2-year service contract.  Eventually, the contract cancels for nonpayment, leaving the cellular telephone providers with a financial loss for the cellular telephone service and their hardware.

Yesterday, Overland Park Police were called to a local electronics store regarding a group from Michigan in the store attempting to get new phones by utilizing this exact scam. Detectives were called out and four subjects were eventually arrested and transported to the County Jail to await formal charges from the District Attorney’s Office.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Request For Information: Shots Fired at W. 115th Street and Metcalf Ave.

On February 14th, around 11:57 pm Overland Park officers responded to a report of shots fired in the area of 115th Street and Metcalf Avenue.  

Witnesses indicated unknown suspects, wearing ski masks and dark clothing, opened fire on a vehicle containing two people.  The suspects then fled the area in a dark colored mini-van. 

None of the occupants inside the vehicle were struck.

The suspect vehicle was described as a mini-van, dark in color, with unknown tags, and was last seen traveling eastbound on I-435 Highway from Metcalf Avenue.

Anyone with information on this crime is asked to contact the TIPS HOTLINE at 816-474-TIPS or the Overland Park Police Department at 913-895-6300.



Monday, February 17, 2014

Kudos to Detective Byron Pierce for His Work on this Case

The press release below was released on Feb 11th by the United States Attorney’s office for the District of Kansas. Detective Pierce was instrumental in the prosecution of this case, but he gives credit to the cooperation we receive with his role on the US Secret Service's Federal Task Force. 

Former Employee Pleads Guilty To Stealing Garmin GPS Devices

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Feb. 11, 2014

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – A man who worked for the Garmin Company in Olathe, Kan., pleaded guilty Tuesday to stealing boxes of GPS devices from the company, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.

Terrence M. Heathington, 31, formerly of Olathe and currently of Atlanta, Ga., pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud. In his plea, he admitted that the crime was committed from March to September 2008 when he worked in Garmin International, Inc.’s warehouse in Olathe as a material handler. He shipped a large quantity of Garmin GPS devices to his personal address and the address of high school friends living in Atlanta. He and his friends sold the devices on eBay and to other individuals.

The thefts were discovered when a person who bought one of the stolen devices contacted the company. An audit revealed that boxes of GPS devices had been shipped to Heathington’s home in Ottawa and to addresses in Georgia, where Heathington had lived.

Sentencing will be set at a later date. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. Grissom commended the Overland Park Police Department, the U.S. Secret Service and Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Oakley for their work on the case.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Don’t Ever Pass Up A Chance

“Someone Died Last Night”was my blog title on August 11th, 2010. I recounted learning that the victim of a fatality accident that occurred on an Overland Park city boundary was the husband of my wife’s friend.  With today being Valentine’s Day, that blog, my wife’s friend, and countless other families who have lost a loved one come to mind.

It seems like today might be appropriate to remind everyone that every face out there is someone’s loved one.  As you find yourself grabbing up that last minute gift and hurrying home to your Valentine, remember to drive safely and never take a moment for granted.  

Enjoy the weekend; I hear it’s supposed to finally warm up.  Give your children a hug.  Tell your significant other you love and appreciate them.  Each time you walk out the door, leave them, and yourself, with a good memory to hold on to.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Assistance Needed in Identifying Auto Thieves and Habitual Shoplifters

The Overland Park Police Department is requesting assistance in identifying some auto thieves and habitual shoplifters.  These incidences go back to January 28th when a running auto was taken from the driveway in the 4700 block of Craig Lane. 

On February 2, two white males entered Kohl's at 115th/Metcalf.  Each of them selected new shoes, put their old shoes in the box and walked out of the store. Surveillance cameras in the parking lot caught them leaving in the stolen auto from January 28th.

In the last incident on February 7th, one of the suspects entered the same Kohl's store wearing the same stolen shoes and, along with a female suspect, stuffed merchandise into a shopping bag,   leaving it for another suspect to pick up.

The 2nd male then entered the store, grabbed the staged merchandise and left without attempting to pay for the items which are valued at more than a thousand dollars. All three fled in a silver Ford Expedition with Missouri tags.

The vehicle failed to stop for officers when they arrived on scene and was last seen heading north on Metcalf at a high rate of speed.

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







Friday, February 7, 2014

Overland Park Police Department’s Crime Blotter

Wondering what types of crimes or reports are taken on a daily basis? Did you know you can check the Overland Park Police Department’s Crime Blotter each day? Every weekday morning after 7:00 A.M., there is a new Crime Blotter posting on the City’s web site.

The Blotter provides selected categories of Offenses from the past 24 hours. This is by no means all the crimes, but a cross section of reports taken the previous day. Every Monday morning after 7:00 A.M., you can view not only the Offenses for the past three days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) but also the Drug, Alcohol and Injury Accident reports taken over the previous week.

To find the Overland Park Police Department’s Crime Blotter go to: http://www.opkansas.org/Newsroom/Police-Blotter/.  You can then review all of the Blotter’s categories mentioned above. 

This online service displays information regarding allegations of criminal behavior reported to the police. All information posted to the blotter is preliminary and subject to change. Data provided for each alleged incident includes the location (not exact, but the nearest hundred-block), date, time, and type of offense. Each reported incident is also assigned a case number.

Only a few days of data is displayed online. For general information or a historical look at criminal activity in the city, please visit our Interactive Crime Map.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Help Us Identify this Felony Shoplifter

Losses from shoplifting not only negatively affect businesses, they also negatively affect consumers. Businesses charge higher prices for products to compensate for shoplifting losses. Deterring shoplifting and prosecuting offenders benefits everyone.

That brings us to today's post. The female depicted in the pictures below is someone we'd like to identify and hold accountable for her bad decision to relieve the store of more than a thousand dollars worth of clothing items. 

Her indiscretion occurred on January 24th, and the detective on this case is asking for help in identifying her.  Loss prevention employees indicated the female took two shopping bags full of clothing out of the store without paying for the merchandise.  

The woman is described as a white female in her mid to late 30`s with a medium build and blondish-brown hair.  She also was wearing tall brown boots, jeans and a gray pea coat over a gray shirt.  

She was seen driving away in a dark blue, two-door Ford Explorer with a Kansas tag. 

If you have any information on the identity of this female, please call Detective Byron Pierce at 913-535-3193.




Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Give Them Room to Work

We'd like to remind drivers who may venture out today to be extra cautious as they share the roads with snow plows. Yesterday's storm dumped over twelve inches in Overland Park alone and crews have been working around the clock to get the streets cleared.

A snow plow driver’s field of vision is often restricted, especially when they’re concentrating on the task at hand. You may see them, but they may not always see you. Keep your distance (at least 100 feet) and be prepared for sudden stops because they are too busy to watch out for motorists who try to pass plows or follow too closely.

It’s important for all motorists to allow plow operators room to work to avoid a potentially deadly collision. Be patient, slow down and ensure you are well prepared for winter roads. Remember to adjust your speed to the existing conditions.

The best advice is to do what you can to avoid being involved in an accident. Slow down during hazardous weather conditions and allow additional time to get to your destination.

If you are involved in a non-injury accident where intoxication does not appear to be a factor and the cars are drivable, remember you have the option to exchange information and file a report later. During inclement weather this may be your most efficient option. If you choose to wait for an officer to respond, keep in mind that emergency calls, including accidents with injuries and/or disabled vehicles, will be handled first. Please be patient.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Give 'Em Room and Proceed with Caution

On Friday, the Overland Park Police Department had another officer who was struck while working the scene of an accident. This is the second incident in the last three weeks and, thankfully, both officers escaped with minor injuries.  Each officer was transported to the hospital for their injuries and neither of them have returned to normal duty yet.

As the snow continues to fall outside, we want to caution everyone who will be out on the roadways during the next few days to pay extra special attention to protect those who faithfully serve us. Whether it’s a law enforcement officer, fire department personnel, or one of the many Department of Transportation workers on the streets and highways, it’s imperative we do everything we can to protect those who work on our roadways.

Here in the state of Kansas, we have a specific law designed to protect these individuals:

Move Over Law:
Kansas law protects everyone who works along our highways. This includes maintenance crews, construction workers, law enforcement officers and emergency responders. The law requires motorists on four-lane highways to switch to the lane farthest from any stationary vehicle displaying flashing lights, if they can do so SAFELY. On two-lane roads, motorists are required to slow down and proceed with caution. 

The video below is from last Friday night and shows the officer's vehicle (upper right corner) before it was struck by another vehicle. The officer was sitting in his vehicle, finishing up work on a previous accident, when he was struck from behind.



Monday, February 3, 2014

Be Prepared Tomorrow for Hazardous Conditions

The accumulation of ice and sleet that started Friday afternoon saw the Overland Park Police Department take 160 accidents reports through Sunday night.

This doesn't include all the accident reports that occurred during this time after a press release was sent out after 4:00 PM advising people to walk the report in on a later date.

With tomorrow's snowfall totals expected to be on the heavy side, we're asking residents to plan ahead and avoid being on the roadways if at all possible. The snow will begin falling shortly before rush hour and the roads will quickly deteriorate throughout the day.  

During a 24-hour period of heavy snowfall in February of last year, police dispatchers received 633 calls for service but, interestingly enough, only seven of those were accidents reports. The majority was for motorist assist calls (399) and abandoned vehicles (78). In addition, officers took 81 reports, which is about double the daily number.

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 when 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 car, home or at work.

You can find more information about preparing for emergencies and the coming winter weather at http://www.preparemetrokc.org or http://www.ksready.gov/default.asp?PageID=3&Tab=3