RELEASE OF INFORMATION

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1 ***For Immediate Release to Castle Hills Residents*** On August 23, 2014, at approximately 11:33 pm, officers from the Lewisville Police Department responded to a robbery call in the 2400 block of Hollow Hill Lane. This residence is located in the Enchanted Hill area of Castle Hills. The homeowner dialed 911 to report that several male suspects had entered the residence wearing dark clothing. The suspects also possessed several firearms and tasers. During this robbery, suspects stole miscellaneous jewelry items, laptop computers and cellular phones. The suspects fled the residence on foot, running northeast towards Lady of the Lake Blvd and Round Table Blvd. The scene was secured and a detective from the Criminal Investigation Division responded and took the lead in the investigation. An immediate canvass of the area revealed some of the stolen property and miscellaneous items of evidence. During the offense, one family member received minor injuries that did not require immediate medical attention. The evidence is currently being processed and the investigation in ongoing. At this time, no additional information will be released. The police department requests that all residents in the vicinity of this robbery, review video surveillance from August and notify the police department of any suspicious activity. Crime tips can be left on the Lewisville Police Department tip line, (TIPS). Castle Hills is a safe neighborhood with little crime reported. There have been two robberies reported in 2014, including the robbery at Hollow Hill Lane. There were zero robberies reported in Please remember the acronym, VICTIM. For prevention purposes, it is useful to look at victims from the offender's perspective. The acronym VICTIM summarizes six important victim

2 factors. These factors are distinct but all relate to a common idea: offenders know something important about victims before an attack that makes them more or less attractive (probably far more than is the case for street robbery where often the relationship is unknown). Vulnerable: Because home robbers confront victims for longer periods of time and try to avoid being injured, they are likely to prefer occupants who will not resist an attack. Insecure: Home robbers evaluate target attractiveness based on the security of people in their home, about which they may not always be certain. You will need to understand why occupants appear more or less insecure, and so more or less attractive to robbers, inside the home. Home robbers must consider victims' access to weapons in the home, not just what they might carry in public. Home robbers also expect that occupants are alone, whereas street and commercial robbers can determine the number of victims in advance. A dog inside the home also makes the home a less attractive target. Consistent: Home robbers are likely to prefer occupants whom they can expect to be home in predictable situations (e.g., a day and time when they are alone, the neighbors are gone, and presumably no visitors are expected). Targeted items. Occupants might possess items that cannot be taken in other forms of robbery (e.g., artwork, large electronic items, large firearms), which may also be protected in ways that would defeat burglary. Home robbers may target occupants whom they know to possess valuable items that are hidden (because they need an occupant to locate them). Offenders in drug related home invasions usually know the location of specific, desired items. Though home robbers prefer cash, they sometimes take a variety of items, such as electronics, jewelry, clothing, food, drugs, and weapons, but other times they may take just one type of item, especially drugs.

3 Intimidated: To reduce their risk of apprehension home robbers may target occupants unlikely to report the robbery. For example, victims of drug related home invasions are reluctant to report and cooperate with the police, because they themselves are involved in the illegal drug trade and feared retaliation for "snitching." They may also target those more easily intimidated by threats of violence (e.g., senior citizens, children), thereby avoiding the need for actual violence. Mindless of risk: Distracted occupants are apt to be easier to approach and overpower, especially in surprise or con robberies. Some home robbers target occupants watching television because it provides cover for the attack. Here again, senior citizens and children are attractive targets, because they are more likely to be initially trusting of strangers who approach or ask to enter the home. In 2014, Castle Hills has experienced a decrease in thefts and habitation burglaries. Construction site burglaries remain consistent. Please have all Castle Hills residents review the listed safety tips and contact the Lewisville Police Department to report any crime or suspicious behavior. Let s remain vigilant as a community, stay involved, be positive, and work collaboratively to ensure the safety of residents of Castle Hills. BURGLARY PREVENTION TIPS 1. If the doors have dead bolt locks, use them. If not, owners are advised to have double cylinder dead bolt locks fitted on exterior doors. A burglar who enters through a window wants to carry stolen property out through a door. A double cylinder dead bolt lock makes this more difficult.

4 2. With the installation of a good dead bolt lock, consider installation of a reinforced strike plate. This will strengthen the doorframe. Use 2 ½ or 3 hardened steel screws to reach into solid wood studs behind the frame. 3. In addition, pinning door hinges on all exterior doors will prevent the door from being removed even after removing the hinge posts. This is particularly important for doors that swing outward and have hinges exposed on the outside. To pin the door, remove two opposite screws on each hinge. Drive a sturdy headless nail into the screw hole in the doorframe, leaving a ½ protruding. Drill opposite the screw hole so that the nail head fits in when the door is closed. 4. When you leave home, even if only for a few minutes (e.g. walking your dog or going to the pool), make sure that all doors and windows are locked. 5. Sliding doors and windows can be blocked with a break in bar or lock pin. These devices make it more difficult to slide the door or window open, even if the lock is forced. The break in bar or pin offers no protection form an intruder leaving with your household goods. Many products are available for securing sliding doors and windows. Ask your local hardware store to demonstrate the variety of locking devices. 6. Many homeowners feel safer with burglar bars. However, most associations have restrictions or architectural guidelines dealing with any alteration to the exterior appearance of the property. Check your association s specific restrictions and comply with the necessary requirements prior to the installation of burglar bars. For better protection, burglar bars should be installed

5 on the inside of windows using one way screws so that the burglar can t easily remove them. Be sure that there is a simple escape mechanism in the event of an emergency, such as a fire. 7. If you have a lock up garage, keep your garage door closed and locked, whether you are at home or not. An open garage door is an invitation to burglars. The installation and use of an electronic garage door opener is also advisable. 8. Marked personal property is difficult for a burglar to sell. If you mark your personal property it can be traced to the rightful owner with relative ease. If a burglar is caught with marked property, it is evidence of stolen goods. 9. Never leave notes that may inform a burglar that you are not at home or that your home is unoccupied. 10. Do not hide keys outside your home. Burglars know where to look. Leave a key with a trusted neighbor. Never leave the keys to your home with your car keys when you car is left in a parking lot or at a service station. Obtain a pull apart key chain or separate your keys. 11. When you leave town, don t advertise you re absence. Arrange for someone to pick up circulars, mail and newspapers. Use timers and photoelectric switches to turn light on and off. 12. Be alert in protecting not only your home but your neighbor s home as well. Don t tell a stranger that your neighbor is not at home. Leave information with a trusted neighbor as to where you can be contacted if necessary. Ask them to watch your home. PERSONAL SAFETY TIPS

6 1. Lock your windows and doors when you are at home. Criminals often get into homes through open doors and windows. This especially includes your garage door. 2. Install a peephole with a wide angle lens on exterior doors. This allows you to see who is outside your door without having to open the door to anyone you do not know. Remember that a burglar rarely looks like a burglar. 3. Always acknowledge a caller at your door, but do not open it. Speak to the person through the locked door to determine who they are and what they want. Some burglars ring the doorbell, and if there is no answer, they break in. You do not want that type of surprise company! 4. Demand credentials and phone for verification before admitting sales or repair personnel, particularly if you did not request their presence. Refuse to deal with any caller of this type who does not present satisfactory identification. Notify the police immediately. 5. Do not reveal your name, phone number or address to unknown callers. Never admit to them that you are alone or when you will be away form home. The caller may have called your number at random. Keep conversations to a minimum. If the caller is offensive, hang up. 6. Single women should only list their initials and last name on mailboxes and directories. Avoid the use of Miss or Ms. 7. Walk purposefully and stay alert. Communicate the message that you are calm, confident, know where you are going, and know what is going on around you. Stand tall and make quick, but deliberate eye contact with people around you.

7 8. Avoid walking alone. Stay away from dark streets. Avoid short cuts through deserted areas. Most muggers will be discouraged if you have company. 9. When traveling by car, always lock all doors. Keep the windows rolled up enough so that an arm cannot be inserted through the opening. If you think that someone is following you, do not go home. Drive to the nearest police or fire station, open gas station or other well lighted place where there are people to help you. Stop and honk the horn for attention. 10. Park in well lighted areas and have your keys ready before you approach your car so that you don t make yourself vulnerable while searching for the right key. Glance into the back seat and floor of your car before you enter it to check for anyone who may be hiding inside. 11. Notify the HOA of any inoperative exterior lights. Don t assume someone else has reported it. 12. In buildings with locked entrance doors and properties with access control gates, don t politely assist strangers to enter the property. Criminals loaded down with two sacks of groceries often gain access to properties by following behind residents. REPORT SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITIES No law enforcement department can function effectively without the assistance of concerned citizens. They depend on you to report any suspicious activities. Call the police that is what they are there for. They ll appreciate your call. Don t worry about being embarrassed if your suspicions prove to be unfounded. Think instead of what could happen if you don t act. Some of the things to watch for and report are: A stranger entering your neighbor s house when your neighbor is not at home.

8 Unusual noises, like a scream, breaking glass, or a loud explosive noise. Anyone peering into parked cars may be looking for a car to steal or for valuables left visible in the car. Strangers loitering around schools, parks, recreation facilities, or secluded areas in your community. If someone going door to door in your community tries to open doors or goes to the side or back door, especially if a companion appears to wait in front or is following in a car. Someone apparently trying to force entry into a home or vehicle, even if he s wearing a repairman s uniform. Vehicles being loaded with valuables if parked in front of an unattended residence, even if the vehicle appears to be a legitimate looking commercial vehicle. Many criminals customize their vehicles to look legitimate Use common sense don t confront suspicious characters! Call the police, they are trained professionals and know how to make arrests and gather the proper evidence to ensure successful prosecution. Have a camera handy to take photographs of suspicious characters or vehicles. SOURCE: Center for Problem Oriented Policing Prepared and released by: Lt. Scott W. Haynes Criminal Investigation Division

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