Memorial Villages Police Department - Houston Texas
Serving the cities of Bunker Hill, Piney Point, and Hunters Creek in Houston, Texas
  Posted on: Friday, August 7, 2020
From the Office of the Chief of Police

This week we are once again seeing fraudulent internet schemes and phishing attempts occurring across the Community. Please remember that Social Media is just as vulnerable to scam artists, as are direct emails and text messages.  Social media accounts such as Facebook’s Messenger can appear to be legitimate and may even look like the contact being made is a referral from a trusted friend, relative or business associate. If ever in doubt, do not jump into something that seems too good to be true.

If someone is offering you a business opportunity or an investment option or even just asking for a favor such as a short-term loan, VERIFY before you send any money. Call your friend, relative, business partner or whomever, and see if they truly did make the referral? Never provide any personal information until you are 100% sure that you are dealing with a legitimate business and/or person. Anyone trying to pressure you into making a commitment, sending money, providing a credit card or debit card number is trying to steal your money. Please, we do not want anyone to become a victim of these types of crimes.

The same holds true for organizations requesting donations and/or sponsorships. Because of the internet, and the ability to create “official” sounding names, logo’s or IP domains, there is an increase in these types of scams as well.  Look closely at the organization, foundation or group that you are making a donation too. Again, do your research on-line, are there more than one group with the same name? As an example, maybe the XYZ, XYZ Foundation, XYZ Association and/or the XYZ Affiliates. One maybe a .com and another a .org and a third a .net Many legitimate organizations are being cheated out of valuable donations by these other groups that often have no legitimate purpose or charitable operation.

Also, this week the FBI issued a warning about clicking on sale ad’s that appear on social media sites as some of these click troughs take you to other fraudulent or substandard businesses where you can become a potential victim of ID theft, fraud or may end up purchasing a poor quality item or service.   Read more at the below news link out of Charlotte.

https://www.wcnc.com/article/money/consumer/fbi-warns-online-shoppers-of-new-scam/275-34ea3398-5291-4a4b-b11a-36ce50335c2f

This weekend is the 2020 Sales Tax Holiday/Tax Free Weekend. School starts for many students (at least virtually) August 24th.  So now is the time to take advantage of not paying sales tax on school supplies. This year due to the COVID-19 pandemic the below rules as per the Texas Comptroller apply:

To promote social distancing, the Texas Comptroller’s office wants all taxpayers to know that during the Tax-Free Weekend, you can buy qualifying items online or by telephone, mail, custom order or any other means (including in-store purchases) tax free, when either

  • the item is both delivered, and paid for, by the customer during the exemption; or
  • the customer orders and pays for the item, and the seller accepts the order during the exemption period for immediate shipment, even if delivery is made after the exemption period ends.
  •  A seller accepts an order when the seller has acted to fill the order for immediate shipment.
  •  An order is filled for immediate shipment regardless of whether the shipment is delayed due to a backlog of orders or because stock is currently unavailable, or on back order by, the seller.

I have heard from residents this week about a few close calls between vehicles and children on bicycles. In most of the cases parents were close by however, the child was far enough away where they are hard to see, or out in moving traffic. It is important that everyone does their part; motorists, cyclists and parents. Our goal is to prevent any tragedies this summer. Vehicles need to be alert for walkers and children, cyclists need to obey traffic laws and kids on bikes need to be closely watched and kept nearby parents who are easier to see and can help keep kids away from traffic lanes.   Lets all keep our speeds down as citations will be issued as needed.

On Saturday at 10am, the Harris County Constables Office Precinct 5, will be having Funeral services for Constable Mark Brown at Chapelwood. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the services will be limited in attendance. However, there will be a 21-gun salute at the conclusion of services. Nearby residents can expect to hear the gunshot volley at approximately 11 am. Deputy Brown had previously worked for the Spring Branch ISD Police Department for 18 years. 

Please, don’t forget that COVID-19 protocols are still in place. Wear face coverings throughout Harris County, keep washing hands and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.

Have a great weekend. Chief Ray Schultz rschultz@mvpdtx.org 

Weekly Crime Report

Bunker Hill

7/31/20 at 2230 Hours. 11600 Block of Starwood. Possession of Drug Paraphernalia/Traffic Violations. Officers while on patrol observed a vehicle traveling at excessive speeds north on Blalock Road. As officers made a U-turn to stop the vehicle, it was observed to run a stop sign. Officers were able to catch up and stop the vehicle on Starwood. Upon approaching the driver officers could smell the odor of marijuana emitting from the vehicle. Through investigation officers located miscellaneous drug paraphernalia inside the vehicle. Both the driver and passenger were issued citations and released. The paraphernalia was tagged into evidence.

Piney Point

8/5/20 at 1015 Hours. Radney Road. Fraud.  The victim reported that she had received a message through Facebook Messenger that she believed was a referral from an acquaintance. The information from the Facebook Messenger Account appeared to be from “The Facebook Financial Assistance Grant Program”. The victim unwittingly believed the program to be true and sent funds via Fed Ex to an address in Washington State. After receiving a subsequent request for additional funds due to “issues” encountered with the transaction, the victim realized that she had been defrauded. It was also learned that her friends Facebook account had been hacked and his address book compromised.  Information about the transaction, emails and accounts was obtained and provided to detectives for their follow up investigation. 

Hunters Creek

8/3/20 at 1230 Hours. 400 Voss. Unauthorized Use of a Stolen Motor Vehicle/Felony Warrants/Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Officers were alerted to a stolen vehicle traveling on Voss Road from Magnolia Bend.  Officers located the vehicle traveling Eastbound on Memorial. Officers initiated a traffic stop on the stolen vehicle and took the 2 occupants into custody. Through investigation it was learned that the driver also had outstanding Felony Warrants for prior Unlawful Use of Stolen Vehicles and was a convicted Felon. The driver was also found to be in possession of a Glock pistol and a 30-round magazine. The vehicle was confirmed as stolen and the owner contacted. The 24-year-old male was booked into the Harris County Jail. The female who claimed to be just getting a ride from the male, was identified and released. The vehicle was towed as per the owner’s request. The firearm was tagged into evidence.

8/4/20 at 2215 Hours. 800 Voss Road. Unlawful Use of a Stolen Motor Vehicle/Unlawful Use of False Documents. Officers were notified of a stolen vehicle traveling on Voss. Officers were nearby and quickly located and stopped the stolen 2020 Dodge Challenger. The vehicle was confirmed as a stolen rental vehicle. Investigation showed that the vehicle had been rented with a false Driver’s License and Credit Card. Officers located the fake ID inside the vehicle with the suspects picture on it but with someone else’s personal information. The 24-year-old male was taken into custody and booked into the Harris County Jail, and the vehicle recovered and towed.

8/7/20 at 0915 Hours. Voss at Memorial. Unlawful Use of a Stolen Motor Vehicle/Fugitive. Officers were alerted of a stolen vehicle entering the Villages on Voss from I-10. Officers located the vehicle traveling South on Voss near Memorial. As the vehicle turned west on Voss officers initiated a traffic stop and took 2 people into custody. The vehicle was confirmed as stolen out of Louisiana.A check of the subjects showed that both occupants had outstanding warrants for their arrests. One of the males was a wanted fugitive out of Louisiana. The other subject had multiple Houston area warrants.  The DA’s Office was contacted and did not accept charges on the Unlawful Use of a Vehicle, due to the victim being from out of state. The agencies that had issued the warrants were all contacted, and all declined to extradite due to the COVID-19. The vehicle was recovered and towed.  The 2 suspects were given a ride to Chimney Rock and I-10 and released.      

 
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