Category Archives: GRAPEVINE POLICE DEPT

WITH SERIAL GROPER STILL ON THE RUN IN GRAPEVINE, MORE WOMEN LEARNING SELF-DEFENSE

Author: Bradley Blackburn

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Police rendering of suspect (Courtesy Grapevine PD)

GRAPEVINE, Texas — A suspected serial groper remains on the run in Grapevine, and more women are trying to protect themselves through self defense. 

At least five attacks have occurred since April at a Grapevine apartment complex, most of them clustered along Mustang Avenue. The encounters have included physical assault, indecent exposure and one instance when a woman was left with a broken collar bone after she tried to fight her attacker off.

Read more from WFAA…

Editor’s Corner: So, I witnessed a robbery…

By Stacey Doud

XchangeI was driving to the store this afternoon and passed two cars parked next to a curb, one behind the other. I thought nothing of it until the front car sped off, tires screeching, passing me up illegally in my lane. I looked in my rearview mirror and saw the driver of the other car, who was obviously agitated, hitting the car hood with his fist. The driver looked to be no more than 16 or 17 years old.

Concerned, I backed up until I was close to the young man’s vehicle. He started flagging me down, so I rolled down my window.”Did you see that?” he asked me.”Yeah…what the heck?” I said.”I was buying a Playstation 4 from this chick and she just totally ripped me off! I gave her the money and she drove off!” he said. “I feel like an idiot!”I found out his name was Zane.* He asked if he should call 9-1-1, which I encouraged him to do, and then tried to talk him down out of his anxiety. It turns out the girl got away with $180. “I feel so stupid!” Zane kept saying. “My dad is going to kill me!”

Pretty soon, three Grapevine Police Department units showed up, and one stayed to take Zane’s statement. Amazingly, Zane remembered the license plate number of the thief’s car. And unsurprisingly, this thief already had an established police record. This was definitely not her first time to rob someone.The officer and I ended up telling Zane basically the same things: the chances of getting his money back was slim, though if the girl was caught, she’d end up serving some time in jail; he’d done everything right as far as getting the license plate number and calling the police; and the next time he meets someone to exchange money for items, he needs to insist on meeting in a “Safe Exchange Zone.”

Zane, like many people, wasn’t aware of “Safe Exchange Zones.” These designated areas were first implemented in Texas in 2016 for the purpose of providing a safer alternative for the exchange of goods purchased over the internet. In Grapevine, there are zones at the QuikTrip gas station, located at 801 Ira E. Woods, and the Public Safety Building, located at 1027 Ira E. Woods.The Grapevine Police Department suggests the following for anyone conducting these kinds of transactions (Craigslist, eBay, etc.): 

  • Be very suspicious of a buyer or seller who changes the agreed upon location;
  • Always meet the buyer or seller in a public place and with plenty of people around;
  • Avoid meeting on side streets or places that are not well lit;
  • Always take someone with you and inform the buyer / seller that you will not be alone;
  • Strongly consider conducting transactions in E-Commerce Exchange Zones;
  • Trust your instincts – if it sounds like a scam it probably is; and
  • Complete the transaction during daylight hours.

Zane finished giving the Officer his report and got a business card with his case number written on the back. I doubt that Zane will see his money again (I hope I’m wrong), but he did learn a valuable lesson, and I hope he passes it on to his young friends. I gave him a much-needed hug, assured him that he wasn’t an idiot and told him that he wasn’t the first person for this to happen to and he won’t be the last. I left knowing that he learned something, even though he lost a good bit of money. The bottom line is to be safe and smart out there!

To learn more about E-Commerce Exchange Zones, click HERE.

*Zane is not the young man’s real name.

GRAPEVINE POLICE INVESTIGATE DEADLY CRASH

PRESS RELEASE

GRAPEVINE, Texas – Grapevine Police are investigating the cause of a deadly crash that killed two people on the eastbound SH-114 service road at Main Street.

Just after 7pm on Friday, July 12, 2019, a gray Hyundai Elantra crashed into a black Mazda 3 that was stopped at a traffic light. The driver of the Mazda was able to get out, but two passengers had to be extricated from the vehicle by Grapevine Fire. All three people in the Mazda, along with the driver of the Hyundai, were transported to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Grapevine. The two passengers in the Mazda, 65-year-old Patricia Nealy and 62- year-old Craig Nealy of Odessa, died at the hospital. Both drivers were treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Witnesses say the Hyundai was traveling at a high rate of speed. Investigators are looking into any additional factors that may have contributed to the crash. Two other vehicles were involved in the crash but nobody else was hurt.

The eastbound SH-114 service road was shut down for several hours from Mustang Drive to Main Street for the investigation and cleanup. No charges have been filed at this time.

Females targeted on Mustang Drive

PRESS RELEASE

GRAPEVINE, Texas  –  Grapevine Police are searching for a Hispanic man targeting females primarily along Mustang Drive. Surveillance video of the most recent assault may help police identify the suspect. The video shows the suspect grabbing a victim and carrying her into a breezeway.

All of the victims were able to fight off the suspect, but in one case, a woman’s collarbone was broken in her struggle to escape.

Investigators are working at least five separate cases where a man exposed himself or physically grabbed women. The crimes happened from April 8, 2019 and July 9, 2019, primarily at complexes between the 2800 and 3000 blocks of Mustang Drive.

The man is described as Hispanic, in his early twenties, with short, curly black hair, a thin build, and between 5’3” and 5’8:”. Grapevine Police are working with a sketch artist and one victim to create a sketch of the suspect. The sketch will be made public once it is complete.

Grapevine Police praise each victim for getting away and reporting the crimes. Officers are actively patrolling the neighborhood and urge women to keep close watch of their surroundings, travel in pairs when possible, and call 911 immediately if they see anything suspicious. Anyone with information on the suspect should call Criminal Investigations during business hours at: 817.410.3200 or 817.410.8127 after hours.  

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Grapevine Police Capture Four in Armed Robbery and Pursuit

PRESS RELEASE
 

GRAPEVINE, Texas  –  Grapevine Police are investigating whether their arrests of armed robbery suspects overnight could help solve multiple crimes across north Texas.

At approximately 2:30 a.m., dispatchers alerted officers to an armed robbery in a neighboring city. Due to a series of recent robberies across the DFW area, two Grapevine officers decided to set up surveillance near the 7-Eleven located at 1700 William D. Tate as a precaution. Shortly after 3:00 a.m. officers spotted three people walking into the store wearing hoodies covering their faces, and then they saw the clerk put his hands up. Officers approached the entrance, and moments later, the three suspects ran out of the store.  

While the initial officers made sure the clerk was okay and searched for one suspect who ran off on his own, more Grapevine officers went after the other two suspects who jumped into a car and drove off. A pursuit went into Irving, where three people jumped out of the car in a residential area on Bellah Court. 

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The weapon and cash found in a suspect’s backpack (Photo: Grapevine Police)

One of the suspects in Irving was seen throwing a backpack over a fence right before the officer caught up to him. The backpack contained a loaded gun and cash. Meanwhile, Irving Police set up a perimeter in the area for the other two people. They found them in a nearby backyard, and a K-9 Officer from Southlake DPS tracked their scent from the car involved in the chase. The car had been reported stolen from Dallas.  

While the search was underway in Irving, Grapevine officers utilized a Bedford Police robot to go through the 7-Eleven, because the clerk feared another robber was still inside the store. The robot and a Grapevine K-9 unit confirmed everyone was out of the building. At the same time, officers spotted a man walking across the street with a hoodie around his waist. They determined he was one of the suspects who ran away and took him into custody. 

Three male suspects, ages 17, 18 and 19, where taken to the Grapevine jail for questioning. All three men face charges for Aggravated Robbery, and additional charges may follow. A 15-year-old girl was taken into custody and later released to parents.  

Grapevine Police are working closely with multiple law enforcement agencies across north Texas to determine if the suspects could be connected to other robberies.  Grapevine Police appreciate all of the help and teamwork that occurred to make these arrests possible. 

(Names and mug shots will not be released until detectives complete their initial interviews and suspects have been fully booked into jail.)

Adoptable pups chilled out at Grapevine PD for National Take Your Dog to Work Day

DogsAtWorkThe 21st annual “Take Your Dog To Work Day” took place on Friday, June 21. This “holiday” was first celebrated in 1999 and was created by Pet Sitters International as a time to encourage employers and employees to experience the benefits of pets in the workplace, as well as promote pet adoptions from local shelters.

This year, Grapevine Animal Services partnered with the Records Department of the Police Department to bring several different pups from the shelter to hang out in the Records Office and the Front Office. Animal Services operates under the umbrella of the Police Department.

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Hooch gets excited about a treat

The idea for this event in the Public Safety Building came from the ladies in the Records Department, as this was the first time they had invited dogs into the building, with the exception of K-9 Police Officers, of course.

“The folks in the Records Department found out about National Take Your Dog to Work Day and they basically asked for it to happen and came up with a plan. They even had t-shirts made. Basically, all I did was make the dogs show up,” said Animal Services Manager Kristina Valentine with a grin.

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The lovely ladies in the Records Department pose with Hooch

“Their idea was that since we can’t bring our own personal pets to work, we could showcase some from the animal shelter. So, as part of the Police Department, Records and Animal Services are working together to have the dogs come to Records for the day. The idea is to get them out of the shelter environment. Sometimes you can’t get to know their personalities when they are kept in the shelter. Sure, you can play with them, but that’s such a short thing. This is more of an office environment – it’s quiet and there are people in and out, and so they really just enjoy the time to roam around and just be a dog,” Valentine added.

The ladies invited me into the Records room to meet Hooch, a very friendly “mutt.” Valentine said that she’s not sure of his breed – she guessed part Mastiff – but she is sure of his sweet demeanor and love for people and other dogs. He’s still a young pup – less than two years old.

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Lola gives her new friend in Records a paw shake

In the front office, I got to meet Lola, a beautiful black and white mix, who is also less than two years old.

Both dogs were selected for their calm demeanors, but Valentine was ready to take them back to the shelter if they didn’t take to the office environment.

“You’d think they’d been here every day,” Valentine said. “They are having a good time and have not been violent or even growly to anyone all day.”

Hooch and Lola, as well as the other animals at Grapevine Animal Shelter, will be available for adoption on Saturday, June 22 from 9:00am until 12:00pm at the Shelter, which is located at 500 Shady Brook Drive. For more information, call 817-410-3370 or visit https://www.grapevinetexas.gov/1284/Adopt.

Grapevine Police investigating graffiti damage at Grapevine High School

Grapevine Police are investigating approximately $1,200 in graffiti damage at Grapevine High School.  
 
A school employee says the damage occurred between 10:00 p.m. June 1 and 3:00 a.m. June 2. Words and drawings were spray-painted on multiple walls, the sidewalk, a window, parking lot, and fence on school property.  
 
Surveillance cameras captured the suspects on video, and detectives are currently analyzing the footage. Anyone with information on the graffiti is asked to contact Grapevine Police Criminal Investigations Division at: 817.410.3200 during regular business hours, or 817.410.8127 after hours.

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.

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Grapevine Police Locate SUV of Missing Woman

PRESS RELEASE

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Joyce Payne

Investigators have located the SUV belonging to a woman reported missing in Grapevine two weeks ago. After multiple searches throughout the city and lake area, a team using sonar equipment at Grapevine Lake identified a vehicle submerged nearly 400 feet from the shoreline. 

Dive teams confirmed that the make, model, and license plate number match the vehicle owned by 66-year-old Joyce Payne. Due to the depth of the SUV and murkiness of the water, police have not yet been able to confirm if Payne is inside the vehicle.  

Police and fire personnel will remain on scene until the SUV can be removed from the water.  Grapevine detectives are in contact with Payne’s family, and have made them aware of the vehicle’s discovery. The Payne family is asking for privacy at this time as they await more information.

Grapevine Police thank the public for helping search for Mrs. Payne.  Any updates on the case will be made after the vehicle is recovered.

National Police Week 2019

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. Currently, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington, DC to participate in a number of planned events which honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Mayor Tate has declared this week (May 12 – 18) as Police Week and May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day in Grapevine. Be sure to thank a police officer today!

Police Week Proclamation