Friday, February 25, 2011

Looking for stolen sneakers

Shoal Creek Property Crimes detectives are seeking help in a large-scale theft/stolen auto case.

On December 24, 2010, a tractor trailer was stolen from 3600 Great Midwest Dr., Kansas City, Mo. The tractor trailer contained 4,700 pairs of NIKE brand footwear, specifically all were white Air Jordans. The truck was recovered in Iowa and the trailer was later recovered empty in Lafayette County. The loss of the NIKE footwear was estimated to be approximately $200,000.

The stolen NIKE footwear is known to have been sold in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

Several of these types of thefts (of tractor trailers containing thousands of NIKE shoes) have occurred over the past year. Police are aware of tractor trailers with NIKE footwear being stolen from Junction City, Kan., and being sold in the Kansas City area. At this time, we cannot confirm whether the theft from the Kansas City, Mo., location is directly related to the thefts from Junction City, Kan. However, stolen NIKE footwear has been recovered in Kansas City, Mo., that was taken from both Junction City, Kan., and Kansas City, Mo.

Yesterday, Feb. 24, another tractor trailer was stolen from Junction City, Kan., that contained a load of NIKE footwear - more than 3,000 pairs. There is a possibility these shoes may be illegally sold in the Kansas City metropolitan area. The stolen NIKE footwear are all-white, NIKE AIR MAX 90s, like those picture above.

Police are asking anyone with information in regard to any of the thefts of the tractor trailers containing NIKE footwear or have seen large amounts of NIKE footwear being sold on the street to contact the TIPS Hotline at (816) 474- TIPS (8477).

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Officers help single mom get back on her feet

Today I presented a Special Unit Citation to a group of officers from the North Patrol Division for their outstanding work helping a woman who was very down on her luck. Here's their story:

Officers Linda Walker and J.D. Pettey knew something was fishy about the repeated calls they received to a Northland apartment to meet Family Services and check the welfare of children there. Officers got called there nearly 20 times between March and August 2010.

The children – ages 2, 4, 5 and 7 – were always fine, so the officers asked their mother, Nicole, what was going on. She said her husband had left and was repeatedly reporting her to the Division of Family Services and police. He also had taken everything, including all the furniture, linens, personal items and the children’s clothes. Officer Walker and Pettey informed their sector of the problem, and the officers realized the husband was trying to harass Nicole by repeatedly calling the child welfare agencies. He also had filed a petition saying the children’s babysitter was dangerous.

The officers went to court on behalf of Nicole during the case. Officer Pettey gave the judge documentation from all the calls for service to the residence, and the judge denied the husband’s petition. But the officers knew Nicole needed more than legal help. In addition to the four children, she was pregnant with a fifth, and they had little more than the clothes on their backs. They had just one bed among the five of them.

Officers Pettey, Walker, James Green and Doug Hopper got Hillcrest Thrift to donate several outfits for the children, some furniture and a gift card. Officer Walker and her neighbors donated several sacks of groceries and hygiene products. Officer Green worked with his church to get a $200 gift card to Wal-Mart to buy school supplies, underwear, shoes and one toy for each child as well as sheets and towels. Wal-Mart also gave them a 10 percent discount. Officer Pettey and his wife, Officer Tina Connor-Pettey, donated a day bed and mattress. Over the next two weeks in July 2010, the officers gathered more donations of groceries, toys and other goods for the family and helped them get back on their feet.

The officers have checked on Nicole and her children from time to time since then. She is no longer being harassed, and the children are adjusting and doing well. Major Vince Cannon said, “These officers’ display of compassion both on and off duty is a true example of how we have embraced the community.”

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Two years of blogging

It doesn’t seem like it, but two years ago today, I made my first post on this blog. As I mark this “blogiversary,” I can’t help but be excited about all the great information we’ve been able to get out about the Kansas City Missouri Police Department through this medium. I’ve told tales of our officers’ heroism, kept the community informed about police department initiatives, explained crime prevention strategies and even released breaking news about an escaped pet ape attacking a police car. This has been a wonderful way to get our message directly to the public without the filter of traditional media.

This blog was really the first of KCPD’s social media initiatives. Since then, we’ve launched a YouTube channel, Twitter account and Facebook page. All are ways to get important public safety information out to as many people in Kansas City as possible. They also are an extension of what we’re trying to do as a department from patrol officers to commanders: connect with the community. In addition to social media, we’re doing this through community roll calls, neighborhood meet and greets and a variety of community events. We have strategic plans in place to continually increase scores for police on the annual citizen satisfaction survey.

All of this is because we know the only way to effectively fight and prevent crime in this city is to have solid partnerships with you. If the community has no relationship with police, we can’t do our job. This blog is a part of that relationship. Thank you for reading for the last two years, and I look forward to even more ways our police department can share with you in the future.

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City records 8th and 9th homicides

Detectives are investigating two recent homicides, one of which has a suspect in custody.

The first occurred at about 5:52 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17, in the 2500 block of Poplar. Officers found 46-year-old Eric F. Jones dead from an apparent gunshot wound next to a house. We still need leads in this case, so call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS if you have any information.

The next happened at about 5:28 a.m. yesterday, Feb. 22, when police were called to the 4400 block of NE 46th Terrace about a disturbance. They found 19-year-old Brent D. Humphreys dead of apparent stab wounds. A 32-year-old male suspect was taken into custody in that case in Kirksville, Mo., yesterday afternoon.

These are the eighth and ninth homicides in Kansas City in 2011, compared to 13 at this time last year and 16 at this time in 2009.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Loss of earnings tax would cut police services

Today is the primary election for City Council in Kansas City. Another election is coming up soon that will put the city's earning tax to a vote, and that could have a major effect on the police department. This article from our Informant newsletter explains why:

The Kansas City Missouri Police Department could go back to the same staffing it had in 1963 if residents vote down the extension of the 1 percent earnings tax in April.

Members of the department are working with City staff to educate the public about what cuts would be necessary should the city lose the 40 percent of its operating budget that is funded by the E-tax.

Since the 1960s, all who live and work in Kansas City and St. Louis have paid 1 percent of their earnings to these cities. That represents $200 million annually for Kansas City, which is roughly the entire annual funding of the police department. In November 2010, voters statewide approved Proposition A, which requires the two cities to vote every five years to renew the tax. If the tax fails, it will be phased out over a 10-year period.

By the end of that 10 years, Deputy Chief Cy Ritter said KCPD would have to eliminate more than 500 law enforcement positions and close to 400 civilian positions – bringing it back to the same staffing it had 50 years ago.

“We don’t want to be negative or scare people, but facts are facts,” Deputy Chief Ritter said at the January 20 Board of Police Commissioners meeting.

Several elements that have been added through E-tax funds that could be cut if the tax renewal fails include:

* Shoal Creek Patrol Division

* Helicopter Section

* Canine Section

* Drug Enforcement Unit

* Crimes Against Children Section

* Cold Case investigative elements

* D.A.R.E.

* Police Athletic League

* Community Interaction Officers

* School Resource Officers

* Community Action Network Centers

Deputy Chief Ritter also said police would have to significantly reduce or eliminate their response to certain calls for service, such as non-injury accidents, burglaries, fraud and forgery.

Mayor Mark Funkhouser said at the Board meeting the City has no plans to make up for lost E-tax funds through other means.

“We’re not going to replace the revenue somewhere else,” he said. “There will be cuts.”

Board Treasurer Angela Wasson-Hunt said it was important to get across the message of what cuts could face the police department should the E-tax renewal fail, especially to Northland residents. Although Proposition A passed statewide by 68 percent, it only passed in Kansas City by 52 percent. Most of the support came from north of the River, according to the Kansas City Star.

Wasson-Hunt said she wanted Northlanders to realize the impact of reduced funds on police.

“Services would be reduced so much,” Wasson-Hunt said.

Deputy Chief Ritter said it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume one of the two patrol division stations north of the Missouri River would have to close if the E-tax extension fails.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Police making it easier for theft victims to reclaim their property


Detectives at a Northland Kansas City Police station have come up with a new way for theft victims to identify and reclaim their stolen property.

The Shoal Creek Patrol Division Property Crimes Section has launched an account on the photo-sharing site Flickr to post pictures of items they’ve recovered in large theft investigations.

“We want to make it more convenient for the public to get online and see if an item is theirs,” Sergeant Daniel Graves said. “It’s a lot easier than making victims drive all the way out to the station to look at it.”

Each picture notes when police recovered the stolen item(s) and which detective is working the case. Theft victims will need to have their police report case number ready when they call detectives to identify the property as theirs.

About 100 photos are on the site now and include stolen items ranging from jewelry to old photographs to construction equipment to antique books to computers. Sergeant Graves said the site will be updated and refreshed regularly. Detectives have another 150 to 200 item pictures they plan to post in the coming weeks. They have connected victims to the stolen items from as far away as Andrew County, Mo., north of St. Joseph.

The site is at A link also is available through KCPD’s web site at  

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Suspect charged in recent Waldo rapes

Capt. Mark Folsom, commander of the Special Victims Unit, flanked by detectives, Chief Corwin and Prosecutor Jim Kanatzar at today's press conference.

Twenty-two charges were filed today in the rapes that occurred in the Waldo neighborhood from fall 2009 to early 2010. Detectives, crime lab personnel and prosecutors have worked months to build a strong case against 53-year-old Bernard Jackson. He also is charged with multiple sexual assaults in the same area in the early 1980s and had been in custody since May 2010.

Now that charges have been filed in the latest assaults, I get the chance to praise the tremendous job the men and women of the Kansas City Missouri Police Department did on this case. Jackson County Prosecutor Jim Kanatzar said at today's press conference that this serial rape investigation had more talent and resources devoted to it than any case since Precious Doe.

Kansas City Police devoted more than 10,000 hours to the case. They investigated 955 tips and wrote more than 1,000 reports that totaled 10,000 pages. The Sex Crimes Section, Crime Lab, Narcotics and Vice Division, Perpetrator Information Center, patrol officers and countless others came together to find the suspect and quell the fear that had overtaken the community.

Speaking of the community, you deserve praise, too. The hundreds of tips you submitted helped with this case. In fact, detectives hope to hear again from a particular tipster who called the TIPS Hotline anonymously on Jan. 23, 2010, and described a vehicle seen in the area. We ask that this tipster please call 816-474-TIPS again so we can get more information from you.

This was one of our biggest investigations in some time, and the men and women of this department really stepped up. I'm very proud that we're another step closer to getting justice for the victims.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How to call 911

It may seem silly to instruct someone how to dial a three-digit number most of us have known for decades, but it really does make a difference to know the best way to contact police in an emergency. This video explains why.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

E-ticketing is coming to an officer near you

No one likes getting a ticket, but the process is about to get easier in Kansas City. Electronic ticketing is coming to KCPD this year. We anticipate that by September 2011, officers will begin issuing tickets from hand-held electronic devices. 

E-ticketing will be virtually paperless. Gone will be the days of triplicate citations with sheets of carbon paper. Officers will soon have computers with small printers in their cars (or a hand-held version for officers such as motorcycle officers) to enter citation information. They will then print off a receipt-like ticket for the violator. The computer already will have transferred the citation information to the police department and to Municipal Court. These devices will increase our officers' efficiency and allow them more time to focus on serious crime problems in our community.

Further advancements also will include completely electronic municipal court rooms and less-cumbersome ways to pay fines. I'll continue to update you on the progress of this project as we move closer to implementing this new technology.

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Latest Narcotics & Vice Quarterly newsletter highlights 2010 accomplishments

The latest edition of the Narcotics and Vice Division's quarterly newsletter is out, and it highlights the work of a division that conducts much of its work in quiet, under-cover capacities. In addition to statistics about total drugs and guns the division recovered last year and from where, it includes stories about the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration moving to ban all forms of synthetic marijuana, why we've increased tavern checks, a profile of the Illegal Firearms Squad and the success of the Prescription Take Back program. It also outlines several ways you can report suspected drug activity in your neighborhood. Please check out the Narcotics & Vice Quarterly.

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Seven gang members indicted federally

no photo available for 44-y.o. Gary D. Smith

Our Gang Squad's long-term investigation into gang members came to a head today with the announcement of a federal indictment against seven Kansas City men. Their charges involve illegal drugs and weapons, but their sentences could be enhanced because of enhanced statutes that target gang activity. Here's the press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office. You can see more information about the case on their web siteKANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that seven Kansas City, Mo., men have been indicted by a federal grand jury for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine and for illegally possessing firearms.

The federal indictment is part of a joint state and federal effort to target criminal gangs and prosecute such activity to the fullest extent possible. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is working in partnership with the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office and federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to target gang members for federal prosecution of drug trafficking and firearms violations. At a press conference today, Phillips announced two new strategies that will be employed to combat gang activity.

"Violent street gangs wreak havoc in the neighborhoods where they operate and have a dangerous impact on the entire community,” said Phillips. “My office, in conjunction with the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office and local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, is committed to protecting our community by targeting illegal gangs and taking illegal guns, drugs and criminals off the street.”

For the first time in the Western District of Missouri, Phillips noted, federal prosecutors have filed notice that they will seek tougher sentences against five of the defendants based on their gang involvement. Statutory enhancements for participating in a criminal street gang (with prior convictions for drug trafficking or violent offenses) would increase the maximum penalties of various counts by 10 years.

Under a partnership with the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office, a full-time Special Assistant U.S. Attorney has been designated to focus on prosecuting gang-related crimes in federal court.

“We are utilizing a federal grant in order to make one of our assistant prosecutors available to prosecute gang-related cases in federal court,” said Jackson County Prosecutor Jim Kanatzar. “This is a good example of the partnership between local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. By working together, we are able to marshal more resources to combat gang activity and obtain tougher penalties against members of violent street gangs. We are sending the message loud and clear that we will not tolerate gang activity in our community.”

Today’s announcement is part of a coordinated national effort to combat gangs and gang-related violence through federal prosecutions of gang members and associates. The Department of Justice announced today that 38 members of various street gangs have been charged in indictments or criminal complaints unsealed today in five judicial districts. In total, more than 100 defendants have been charged, pleaded guilty or been sentenced in February 2011 as part of this ongoing effort involving U.S. Attorneys’ Offices across the country, the Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Gang Unit, and federal, state and local law enforcement partners.

Click Clack Gang
Kevion Darnell Bifford, also known as “2 Gunn Kevi,” 24, his brother, Kevin Levance Jackson, 22, Prince Earl Clarence Gilbert, Jr., 24, Charles V. Williams, also known as “Cortez Hanley,” 23, Gary D. Smith, 44, Taj Runnell Griffin, 19, and Deron Andrew Scott, 23, all of Kansas City, were charged in a 12-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo., on Tuesday, Feb. 8 2011. The indictment was unsealed and made public today upon the arrests of several defendants.

The government has filed motions to hold all seven of the defendants in custody without bond. According to those court filings, the indictment is the result of a long-term investigation by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives into the activities of individuals who identify themselves as members of the Click Clack Gang. The gang derives its name from the sound of cocking a gun or “racking the slide” (putting a round into the chamber) of a semi-automatic handgun. This is corroborated by the number of semi-automatic handguns recovered from the Click Clack Gang and the number of photographs and video evidence of the members with firearms.

The Click Clack Gang operates in the geographic area of Kansas City that is roughly bounded by 27th Street to Emmanuel Cleaver Boulevard, and Jackson Avenue to The Paseo.

During the investigation, court filings report, law enforcement officers recovered more than 20 firearms, over 40 grams of crack cocaine, more than 100 grams of powder cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy pills and nearly $2,500. Three of the recovered firearms were identified as having been used in shootings with injuries; one was used in an unsolved homicide. Several of the recovered firearms had been stolen, court documents allege, one from as far away as Arizona. One of the recovered firearms had been illegally altered to a sawed-off shotgun.

Bifford, a singer who uses the street name “Two-Gun Kevi,” has at least one CD cover that depicts him with his face covered with a bandana and in possession of two firearms. One is a polymer frame, semi-automatic handgun with an extended magazine and the other is a machine pistol.

While executing a search warrant in the 3700 block of Wabash Avenue, officers recovered a video camera that contained multiple videos of various individuals and depicted gang affiliation; the use, sale and possession of controlled substances; firearms possession; and the identification of several individuals working in cooperation for the distribution of controlled substances.

Drug-Trafficking Charges
The federal indictment alleges that all seven defendants participated in a conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine between Jan. 1, 2009, and Feb. 10, 2011.

In addition to the drug-trafficking conspiracy, the indictment charges various defendants in five more counts related to the possession and distribution of crack cocaine. Bifford is also charged with one count of distributing cocaine.

Firearms-Related Charges
Bifford and Scott are each charged with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Bifford was allegedly in possession of a loaded Smith and Wesson .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun on Feb. 6, 2010. Scott was allegedly in possession of a loaded Glock 10mm semi-automatic handgun on Nov. 11, 2010.

Bifford is also charged with possessing a firearm in furtherance of those drug-trafficking crimes. Bifford allegedly possessed a loaded Smith and Wesson 9mm semi-automatic handgun on Nov. 10, 2010.

Bifford, Williams and Jackson are also charged together in one count of possessing firearms in furtherance of those drug-trafficking crimes. They allegedly aided and abetted each other and others to possess a loaded Stoeger Cougar .357-caliber semi-automatic handgun and three loaded Glock .40-caliber semi-automatic handguns in August 2010.

Griffin is also charged with one count of illegally possessing a firearm. The indictment alleges that Griffin, an unlawful user of marijuana, was in possession of a loaded Glock .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun on April 14, 2010.

The federal indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require the defendants to forfeit to the government any property used to commit the alleged offenses, or any property derived from the proceeds of the alleged offenses, including a money judgment of $100,000, which represents the proceeds of illegal drug trafficking, $2,438 that was seized by law enforcement officers, a 2000 Lincoln LS owned by Scott, a 2006 Dodge Charger owned by Bifford, and a late model Chevrolet Malibu owned by Gilbert.

Phillips cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce Rhoades and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Sydney Sanders. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Snow is hard for police cars, too

After a wreck-filled rush hour today, we were again reminded that driving in snow - even a little bit of it - is dangerous. It's often not easy for police, either. This story from our monthly Informant newsletter explains why:

Even emergency first responders get stuck in the snow.

Three major winter storms in one month took a toll on KCPD vehicles and response times and caused the City to declare its first state of emergency since 2002’s ice storm.

From 3 to 11 p.m. on Jan. 19 – the height that day’s snow storm – police took reports of 184 non-injury wrecks and four injury wrecks. They had 13 crews out on highways helping stranded motorists. While it made for a miserable evening commute, the snow helped reduce the potential for serious wrecks.

“When the weather’s that bad, we don’t have serious injury or fatality wrecks because people can’t get up to speed,” said Sergeant Jim Fuller of the Accident Investigation Section.

Response times suffered in the snow, too. On snowless Jan. 31, the median response time for priority 1 calls citywide was about 6.9 minutes. On Feb. 2, after about a foot of snow had fallen, that increased to about 8.2 minutes.

“Getting there safely to help people is what’s most important,” said Major Roger Lewis of the Patrol Bureau.

Oftentimes, citizens calling for police assistance in the snow don’t realize officers may have a more difficult time getting around than they do. The majority of KCPD’s fleet is rear-wheel drive Ford Crown Victorias. The rear-wheel drive is ideally suited for police work most of the year but doesn’t do well in the snow, Fleet Unit Supervisor Darrell Cooper said. Front- and all-wheel drive cars handle better in winter weather but are “a maintenance nightmare,” so KCPD sticks with rear-wheel drive, Cooper said. Police stopped using chains on tires about a decade ago for fear they would spark a fire that could ignite the gas tank.

The Fleet Unit had to tow out 24 police cars during a 24-hour period on Feb. 1, when nearly a foot of snow fell and Kansas City declared a state of emergency. On average, Cooper said the Unit tows less than one car a day. But only two police cars wrecked during the Jan. 31 – Feb. 1 storm – one that hit ice in pursuit of a drunk driver and another that hit a deer.

“The driver’s training at the Academy has really helped out,” Cooper said. “It’s given officers more knowledge on how to drive their car when they get in trouble.”

In the coming weeks, Cooper said he expects to see the aftermath of the snow on police vehicles in the forms of transmission issues and rear differential problems. At present, though, the only thing his shop is doing differently is “replacing an exceptional amount of wiper blades.”

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Don't leave "indicators" for thieves

Last week, I told you about how one of our Central Patrol Division officers found several cars with valuable items inside them in plain view within 30 seconds of responding to an area that has had problems with car break-ins. He went to another area of the division later that week - which also has had problems with car break-ins - and found several more cars with "indicators" in plain view.

These indicators tell a criminal there might be something of value inside. It can be a power cord to a cell phone or iPod or a GPS mount. The actual device may not be attached to the indicator, but it can lead crooks to believe the valuable device is stashed somewhere inside the vehicle - like under the seat or in a glove box. The officer found cars with the below indicators in less than one minute. The first has a GPS mount, and the second and third have power cords.

The officer then ran into someone he knew had a history of breaking into cars. He showed the man the pictures he'd just taken. The officer said, "He told me with what he saw, he would definitely have taken the chance of breaking into those vehicles, and that's exactly what he was looking for when he was actively breaking into vehicles."

Many times, the valuable devices thieves are looking for aren't actually in the cars. But by then, they've already broken out windows and done hundreds if not thousands of dollars in damage. Central Patrol had 1,377 incidents of property damage reported in 2010. Detectives estimate that about half of those involved someone breaking into a car and not actually stealing anything. That's nearly 700 incidents that pulled police resources away from things like violent crime that could have been prevented had people simply taken their cell phone charger out of their car.

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Monday, February 7, 2011

Police seek suspects in two robberies

Police are looking for two robbers who we believed robbed two businesses in two hours yesterday. The first incident was reported at 9:40 a.m. Feb. 6 at the Subway at 6311 Troost. Surveillance video of that robbery is below. Two men came in, pointed a gun at the clerk, and said, “Give me the money, b----.” They threw a dark-colored backpack at her and told her to put the money in it. They were black males, both wearing hoodies and surgical masks with dark pants. The clerk saw them leave in a mid-size burgundy four-door car with a silver pinstripe down the side.

Then at 11:42 a.m. Feb. 6, police were called to the Circle K at 6897 E. Front St. about another armed robbery. The suspects were dressed similarly and wearing surgical masks. They again tossed a backpack on the counter and demanded the clerk fill it, stating “Give me the money, you b----.”

The video has audio (and some foul language):


If you recognize them in this video or have any other information, please call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Why We Do What We Do: Ticketing Idle Cars

The latest in our Why We Do What We Do video series explains why we ticket idle cars, and it's especially appropriate on single-digit temperature days like today. Like our plea yesterday not to leave items of value in plain view in your car, we've also repeatedly asked you not to leave your cars running unattended. If your car doesn't get stolen, it could be ticketed.

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Stop setting yourself up to be a victim of theft

First, I want to thank everyone for your cooperation in staying off the roads as much as you could yesterday and letting crews do their job clearing the snow. It made a big difference.

Second, I’m going to ask for the public’s help in another matter. Time and time again, we have asked that you not leave items in your car in plain view, creating a perfect opportunity for thieves. Just when we think that message is starting to sink in, we’re proven wrong. This past weekend (Jan. 28-31), the Central Patrol Division had 24 reports of thefts from vehicles. On Friday, Jan. 28, a community partner called concerned about a rash of car break-ins in his neighborhood. It’s an area where police have devoted significant manpower to stopping the break-ins, but they continue. Surveillance video has even captured an unidentified suspect wiping snow off car windows and looking inside to see if there’s anything worth taking. If so, he busts in and steals it. If not, he moves to the next car.

One of our officers went to this neighborhood on Saturday, the 29th, and said he saw the following within 30 seconds: “A car with a GPS unit attached to window, a car with a purse in plain view on the passenger seat, a car with a camera bag on the passenger seat, two cars with significant change in plain view on the console, a vehicle with two smart phones on the console and a satellite radio in plain view and a vehicle that had mail with the owner’s name and address in plain view.” He even took pictures inside these parked cars, which I’ve posted below. The owners of these vehicles are blatantly not following the advice we have given over and over again to not leave items of value in plain view.

The officer found one of the vehicle’s owners and told him how at risk he was putting himself for theft. The owner said he relied on the car’s factory anti-theft system, but what he didn’t realize was that those types of factory systems will not operate unless the car door is opened. Criminals know this and break out the window instead. Criminals also talk among one another and know where the “easy pickings” are. This doesn’t just happen in the central city, either. We’ve also had significant theft-from-auto problems in places like Zona Rosa north of the River.

You must be part of a solution to this persistent problem, which is a drain on police resources. Do not set yourself up to be a victim. Do not leave anything of value in plain view in your car. Please take some time to review this “If I Were a Thief” brochure for more tips on how to protect your property.

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Police ask public to walk in non-injury accident reports during storm


Kansas City Police urge anyone involved in a minor vehicular crash during today’s severe weather to go to their nearest police station for a report to keep as many officers available for true emergencies as possible.

If your car is still drivable, if no one has been injured and if there is no alcohol involved, police request that you exchange information with any other drivers involved in the crash and get off of the roadway as quickly as possible. You can get a report for insurance purposes at any of the following locations:

• North Patrol Division – 1001 NW Barry Rd.
• Shoal Creek Patrol Division – 6801 NE Pleasant Valley Rd.
• Central Patrol Division – 1200 E. Linwood
• Metro Patrol Division – 7601 Prospect Ave.
• East Patrol Division – 5301 E. 27th St.
• South Patrol Division – 11109 Hickman Mills Dr.
• Police Headquarters – 1125 Locust St.

You have to make the report in person because you must present your identification and valid proof of insurance. You do not have to make the report immediately and can wait until a couple days after the accident.

During the last snow storm on January 19, Kansas City Police responded to 184 non-injury crashes and four injury crashes in an 8-hour period.