Memorial Villages Police Department - Houston Texas
Serving the cities of Bunker Hill, Piney Point, and Hunters Creek in Houston, Texas
  Posted on: Friday, January 6, 2023
Chief's Weekly Update

Memorial Villages Police Department


From the Desk of Chief Ray Schultz,

Happy New Year to everyone as we jump right into 2023.  Unfortunately, crime never takes a vacation and auto burglars continue to plague the entire Houston area.  Two of our employees had home surveillance systems capture images of suspects pulling on their car door handles during the overnight hours this past week. They live in the communities of Sugarland and in Katy. Also, this week, we have had door pullers in the Villages. One thing that an overwhelming number of successful vehicle burglaries have in common is the vehicles that are being burglarized usually have unlocked doors.

In 2022, we had 33 burglaries of motor vehicles. Of the 33, 32 had unlocked doors. Also, 12 of the 33 vehicles belonged to contractors who were working in the area. Of those 12, 11 had unlocked doors.  Most of these crimes would not have occurred had the vehicles simply been locked. 

One thing that we know is these criminals are brazen. They drive around day and night looking for unlocked and/or unsecured vehicles. Their targets change depending on day or night. Daytime it is contractor/commercial or worker vehicles, and during the overnight hours, it is vehicles parked in driveways, parking pads and backyards. One of the videos from Katy this week shows a small SUV pull into a cul-de-sac and two subjects run from car to car pulling on the door handles, locked cars are passed over with the suspect never even looking inside.

This week we also had an auto burglary occur at one of our schools where a parent ran inside the school to drop off a child, only to return to the vehicle minutes later and learn she had been a victim of a theft.  In this case, we were able to use area surveillance footage and the ALPR system to identify a suspect vehicle. A check of the suspect vehicle activity shows the vehicle traveling frequently up and down the street on the day of the theft in what appears to be them watching the school and cars pulling up into the parking lot.  The vehicle in this case has been identified as a rental vehicle. Adding to this particular story, the suspects even tried to cover the license plate with a piece of cardboard, but being the dumb crooks that they are, the cardboard flew off of the car, allowing our ALPR to capture the plate (unknown to the suspects). The dumb suspects realizing they had lost their cardboard, then took the license plates completely off their car, so they could still commit their burglary.  These criminals are so focused on committing these crimes that they don’t care. 

In this case, we will be able to identify them. It is going to take a lot of work as we request subpoenas for videos and bank records, rental car agreements and store videos and receipts. We will get an arrest warrant and eventually pick them up, and hopefully get them charged. What the long-term outcome will be, is anybody’s guess. The victim still lost a purse, wallet, phone, and credit cards and will need to closely monitor her identity and credit report for months.

The reason I am spending so much time on these particular crimes is these are very preventable. We cannot let our guard down. Please remember to lock your vehicles every time you get out. Even if only for a few short minutes or in your own driveway, yard, or garage. Whether you are at home, work, school or visiting someone, lock the doors.  I don’t think the criminals are going to stop until there are no more vehicles to easily get into. Thanks

Finishing up a review of the ALPR year end numbers for 2022, we recovered a total of 74 stolen vehicles valued at $1.7 million dollars.  Additionally, we were alerted to and recovered 49 stolen license plates. We located an additional 11 stolen vehicles that fled from officers but were not pursued due to unsafe driving conditions. The ALPR system was instrumental in 13 additional criminal investigations. Since 2019, the MVPD has recovered 232 stolen vehicles, worth over $5 million dollars.  Great work by our officers, dispatchers, and detectives in utilizing this technology to its fullest potential.  

This Sunday, January 8, 2023, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, Chapelwood Church is sponsoring a children’s community wide scavenger hunt. Teams will be chaperoned by an adult and will move through the community completing tasks, taking pictures and collecting “stuff”. They will be taking pictures of themselves at specific locations in the villages, so anyone wondering what’s going on, that is what’s happening.

We still have a few spots left in the upcoming evening RAD Class. January 17-19, 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Contact Officer Michelle Owens for more information at Mowens@mvpdtx.org

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

 

Weekly Crime Report

Piney Point

1/3/23 at 1730 Hours. 300 Block of Piney Point Road. Burglary of a Motor Vehicle. The victim reported that she had arrived at the school to drop off a child for a school event and had parked in the rear of the facility. She had gone inside for a few minutes leaving her purse inside of the unlocked vehicle. Upon returning to her vehicle, she found her purse was missing. Inside her purse was her phone and wallet with credit cards. The cell phone was tracked to the area of San Felipe and Voss but not located before signal was lost.  A short time later the victims credit cards were used at businesses at the Galleria Mall. Detectives were notified and utilized area video surveillance to identify a suspect vehicle. A black SUV had entered the area of the burglary shortly after the victim arrived and left minutes later.  The black SUV did not have front or rear license plates affixed to the vehicle.  Detectives then accessed nearby ALPR system cameras and were able to locate the same black SUV in the area just before the crime displaying FL license plates. The vehicle appears to be a rental vehicle.   The suspect(s) had removed the license plates before committing the burglary. Detectives are following up on the investigation obtaining video from the mall and from the rental car company.

Bunker Hill Village

1/4/23 at 1600 Hours. 300 Block of Gessner. Identity Theft. The victim reported that he received a message from his bank about confirmation for an international wire transfer of funds from his bank account to Vietnam. The victim had not authorized any transfer of funds and declined the transfer. Information about the attempted transaction was collected and provided to detectives for their follow up investigation. (Note: Over the past few days the victim and his wife have been inundated with excess email spam messages)

Hunters Creek

1/5/23 at 0830 Hours, 11800 Block of Brair Branch Lane. Burglary of a Vehicle. The victim reported that upon going to his vehicle this morning he found that someone had entered his vehicle during the night and removed items from the unlocked SUV. A check of his daughter’s vehicle found the same had occurred to her car. The victim then checked his video cameras and located an unknown subject walking around his vehicle at approximately 1:30 am. Information about the burglaries was collected and the scene processed for fingerprints. MVPD detectives were notified and have taken over the investigation.

1/5/23 at 1630 Hours. 300 Block of Shasta. Theft. The victim reported that sometime between 1130 and 1630 hours, unknown person(s) removed two packages that had been delivered to his residence. The victim had confirmed delivery with the company.  Information about the theft was collected and provided to detectives for their follow up investigation.




 
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