Category Archives: Crime Prevention

Amazon’s helping police build a surveillance network with Ring doorbells

Screen Shot 2019-06-07 at 9.12.19 AMIf you’re walking in Bloomfield, New Jersey, there’s a good chance you’re being recorded. But it’s not a corporate office or warehouse security camera capturing the footage — it’s likely a Ring doorbell made by Amazon

While residential neighborhoods aren’t usually lined with security cameras, the smart doorbell’s popularity has essentially created private surveillance networks powered by Amazon and promoted by police departments.Police departments across the country, from major cities like Houston to towns with fewer than 30,000 people, have offered free or discounted Ring doorbells to citizens, sometimes using taxpayer funds to pay for Amazon’s products.

While Ring owners are supposed to have a choice on providing police footage, in some giveaways, police require recipients to turn over footage when requested.

Read more from C/NET…

Grapevine Police asks for help from public, warns women to keep purses close

Earlier this month, a woman was dining at a local restaurant when her wallet was stolen from her purse. The purse was hanging on the back of her chair, and by the time she realized the wallet was gone, thieves had purchased several gift cards from a grocery store in Southlake.

These surveillance photos show the suspects. Suspect #2 was seen sitting by the woman’s purse, while the other two were also seen in the restaurant walking around. All three were in the grocery store together. Please call Grapevine PD if you recognize the suspects at 817.410.8127.

We also remind women to please secure purses. Thieves only need a few seconds to grab a wallet or other items of value.

61318915_2510117515666393_4905820256624181248_n

January is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month

49616234_609383539478922_401949797205934080_o

The heaviest trafficking areas in Texas (Courtesy of UnBound)

January is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Texas has one of the most heavily traveled trafficking routes in the country, with I-45 and I-10 being the top two. What is human trafficking? Read below from UnBound, an organization formed to combat this awful practice,

***

And it’s worse today than at any point in history. Slave labor, child soldiers and commercial sexual exploitation are just a few forms of modern-day slavery. And the numbers are staggering.

There are nearly 30 million slaves worldwide.

And in the United States alone, as many as 300,00 children are at risk of being commercially exploited in sex slavery each year. Victims are usually deceived by traffickers who offer a better life or a better job. And once they have victims in their grasp, traffickers use false promises, manipulation, threats or debt bondage to keep their victims under control. To learn more about human trafficking in the United States, visit polarisproject.org or request an UnBound training.

Victims are trapped and hopeless.

In addition to little or no pay, slaves often suffer in torturous conditions where malnutrition, sleep deprivation and abuse are rampant. Victims of sex slavery suffer the contraction of preventable diseases, dehumanization and intense emotional and physical trauma. These victims often become prey to a physical and psychological evil they can never escape alone.

For more information or to find out how to help, visit https://unboundnow.org/.

Scam Alert from Grapevine PD

46511086_2226451650699649_8035687122788679680_nBurglars are getting crafty trying to get into homes, and we want to make sure your loved ones don’t fall victim to a scam that reached a Grapevine couple in their 70’s.

A man came to the front door and told the homeowner he was there to fix her fence. She met him in the backyard, and he proceeded to talk to her for the next 15 minutes outside. Then he suddenly said he was at the wrong home and was picked up by someone in a van.

A short time later the woman’s husband came home, and discovered several things were missing from inside their house (a gun safe, firearms, and jewelry). Detectives believe the man lured the woman outside so another thief could break in and steal their valuables. The theft happened just after lunchtime, and the woman did not feel threatened at the time.

Please remind loved ones, especially if they are older, to watch out for this kind of scam. When victims are not suspicious, they are not paying attention to features that may help identify the thieves or their vehicle, making it easy for criminals to get away undetected.

Pearland Police seek community’s help in identifying theft suspect

PRESS RELEASE

NailSuspectThe Pearland Police Department needs the public’s help to identify a suspect that is wanted in several thefts from nail salon employees in the Pearland area.

The suspect will enter a salon posing as a customer. She then asks to use the restroom, which is typically located in the back of the business, in or near the storeroom. The suspect then steals items out of the employees’ purses and leaves the business.

The suspect may be driving a black Mercedes.

Please contact Det. McGuire at (281) 997-4236 or email jmcguire@pearlandtx.gov with any information.

Register Your Security Camera and Help Pearland PD Fight Crime

12065913_890536167666590_4978084334421026202_nHelp Pearland Police Department fight crime. With your expressed permission, the police department can access and view security footage, helping to solve crimes and suppress criminal activity. Participating citizens have no obligation to turn over footage and can choose whether or not to give police access to their camera feed. Additionally, you can unregister at any time.

Participants are required to submit their name and location of the device and will only be contacted in the event of a crime near their area. Visit pearlandtx.gov/surveillance to register.

Wal-Mart on Main Suspected of Tampering with Food Bank Bags

A Pearland resident made some disturbing discoveries on Sunday, May 24 at the Wal-Mart located at 1919 Main St.

The bags of food that were assembled for sale to benefit the Pearland Food Bank had been tampered with by parties unknown, but the changes made to the bags would profit Wal-Mart.

The resident’s attention was drawn to the bags because they were torn. As she investigated further, she noticed that some of the contents had been replaced by expired or soon-to-expire food items and high-priced, hard-to-sell items such as organic rice, Gluten free salad dressing and holiday cake frosting.

We will be following up on this story after the holiday. If you happen to be in any Pearland-area Wal-Mart, please take a look at the food donation bags. If you notice anything like this, please contact us and let us know which location you were at and what you saw.

Vehicle Break-Ins Reported in Silvercreek

Silvercreek residents, take heed. Several residents have reported that their vehicles have been broken into at night and various items taken.

If you experience theft or witness anything suspicious, call Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office at 281-756-2392.

The best way to prevent this is to park your vehicles in the garage. If this is not possible, please follow these vehicle safety tips:

  • Lock your doors

While this piece of advice should be a no-brainer, up to a quarter of vehicle thefts are from unlocked cars, according to some law enforcement agencies. Even if you’re running into the store for a Coke, that’s too long to leave your vehicle’s contents open for the taking. Simply locking the doors will deter those who might just be waiting around for an easy target.

  • Keep it tidy

Almost any worthless personal item that’s visible from the outside — even an empty shopping bag — could be seen as a valuable or a carrier of valuables. If you have a wagon or SUV that leaves your cargo area on display, consider getting a cover. Most of these vehicles can be fitted with inexpensive retractable covers to help keep shopping bags or other belongings out of sight.

  • Conceal all the evidence

Don’t leave any bait out for thieves; stow your electronics and accessories well out of sight-or better yet, bring it with you. The evidence alone might be enough to pique the interest of thieves, so hide that too, including power plugs, telltale iPod adapters, or nav-system windshield suction-cup mounts, and even put the cigarette lighter back in place.

  • Stash before — not after — you park

Get in the habit of putting shopping bags in the trunk right when you return to the vehicle, rather than after you park at the next place. According to National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) spokesman Frank Scafidi, thieves sometimes linger in busy parking lots looking for valuables being moved out of sight. Don’t display to them what you have.

  • Completely close windows and sunroofs

No, it’s not just because thieves might reach in through the gap and open your locks with a coat hanger. Open windows will disable the pressure sensor in some car alarms, leaving the vehicle more vulnerable to break-in and potentially giving thieves more time before the alarm sounds.

  • Get an alarm

If you don’t have an alarm system, get one. The noise alone may be enough to scare away an inexperienced thief and prevent the break-in. Factory-option alarm systems are generally best, but a carefully installed, properly calibrated aftermarket system can provide just as much safety. Beware, many less-expensive new cars have remote entry but not a true alarm.

  • Stick with the original audio system

Thefts of car audio components are on the decline, but having an aftermarket system still makes a car more attractive to thieves thinking of breaking in. There’s no black market to speak of for factory stereos, and they’ve become much better sounding in recent years.

  • Park for visibility

Park in a busy, well-lit area, and avoid concealment from larger vehicles, fences, or foliage. Except for the most brazen thieves, the greater the chances are that someone might see a crime in progress, the lower the chances are that the potential thief will attempt it.

  • Get physical

A significant portion of vehicles are broken into with the intent of stealing the vehicle itself, so combining several visible simple, inexpensive physical theft deterrents like steering wheel locks (The Club), steering column collars, or brake pedal locks may discourage the would-be thief from breaking in and trying.

  • Layer your defenses

That’s the strategy recommended by the NICB; layers include warning devices such as alarms, wheel etching, or decals; immobilizers; and even tracking systems (LoJack is one). “None of them are foolproof, but if they’re used in tandem they can really keep the chances down,” agrees Loretta Worters, vice president of the Insurance Information Institute.

Source: CNN

Pearland Participates in Great Texas Warrant Round-Up

The Round-Up officially begins March 7

Pearland Citizens Police Academy Celebrates 20 Years of Education

54e759c4c855a.imageThe Pearland Citizens Police Academy (CPA) started its 20th anniversary celebration by kicking off Class 40 on Feb. 5. The largest class to date, Class 40 will receive 14 weeks of instruction instead of the traditional 12.

“We wanted to do something special since this is our 40th class and 20th year,” said Community Services Officer Daniel Hamminga. “We have a new logo and a new class schedule.”

FINAL CPAAA LOGO with 20th banner

Texas Department of Public Safety and Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office representatives will speak during the extra two classes, widening the focus of community/law enforcement relationships to the county and state levels.

According to the Pearland Police Dept. website, “The original concept of the Citizens Police Academy (CPA) came from Great Britain, where the UK Constabulary designed a program to give citizens an overview of British law enforcement operations. Known as ‘police night school’ when it began in 1977, the program was an immediate success.

“The idea spread to the United States via the Orlando (Florida) Police Department soon thereafter. The CPA concept can now be found in large and small law enforcement agencies across the USA and Canada.

“The purpose of the program is to allow citizens to meet the men and women who serve them, to educate citizens in the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of law enforcement, and to provide Police Officers the opportunity to meet and hear from the citizens they serve.

“The first Citizens Police Academy in Pearland was started in the spring of 1995. There are now over 600 graduates of the Pearland CPA program.

“The CPA curriculum has become a major focus of job responsibility for the Crime Prevention Officer. The academy is held each spring and fall and stretches for twelve weeks of instruction in the various tasks associated with law enforcement.”

While Class 40 is well underway and full, Class 41 will begin on Aug. 6. For more information or to register for Class 41, visit PearlandPD.com.