Sunday, September 26, 2021

Murder Charges Pending in Shooting Death

At around 5:15 pm yesterday, Southlake officers responded to a reported shooting in the 100 block of Central Avenue at the intersection of FM 1709. Upon arrival, officers located the shooter, later identified as 52-year old Kenneth Dean Martin, and one victim who sustained a gunshot wound. The victim appeared to have been seated in her vehicle when she was shot. Martin was immediately taken into custody without incident. A handgun was recovered at the scene. The victim, who was identified as 55-year old Linda Martin, was transported to Baylor Grapevine where she was pronounced dead shortly before 10:30 pm last night. Kenneth Martin is in custody pending arraignment. He will be charged with murder.

Both the suspect and the victim reside in Flower Mound. The couple was involved in divorce proceedings. The shooting is still under investigation.

Kenneth Dean Martin

Suspect: Kenneth Dean Martin

Neighborhood and Business Checks Help Reduce Crime

The Southlake Police Department continues to focus its efforts on reducing crime in Southlake neighborhoods and near local businesses. This is accomplished by police officers that perform approximately sixty-to-seventy neighborhood and business checks each day and night.

In 2015, the Southlake Police Department performed 33,783 business checks and 27,091 neighborhood checks. As the City of Southlake continues to grow, the pace for these checks is already showing a slight increase in numbers: 6,808 for business checks and 5,603 neighborhood checks since January 1, 2016.

Southlake Police Officers have been able to deter criminal activity due to their high visibility, but the public can also help by reporting any suspicious or unusual behavior in their neighborhood. Patrol Lieutenant Randy Thomas says, “I tell homeowners that they are the best experts on their block. They know who is supposed to be in the neighborhood and who is not.” If a strange vehicle, person or anything seems out of place; Thomas advises that you don’t hesitate to contact police. “We would rather you call us to check something out and be safe rather than sorry”, Thomas added.

An example of suspicious behavior might be: If you see a car with an out-of-town license plate driving slowly up and down your street and you believe the driver is acting suspicious, call the non-emergency dispatch number at (817) 743-4522. An officer will be dispatched as soon as possible to check out the situation. If you feel you are in any immediate danger dial 9-1-1.

The Police Department would also like to remind residents to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings at all times; especially, when parking their vehicle at a local business or even in the driveway of their home. Take an extra moment to look around, then Hide your things, Lock your car, and Take your keys. Thwarting crime can be as easy as following these Hide, Lock, and Take guidelines.

We want our citizens to have peace of mind and to know that we are here to serve and protect them. We also encourage residents to get to know your neighborhood police sergeant. He or she can easily be found by going to the City of Southlake’s website and typing in “District Sergeant” in the search box or you can click here.

Together we can make our neighborhoods and businesses less attractive to burglars and thieves. If you have any questions or would like to have an officer come talk to your Homeowners Association (HOA) please contact your District Sergeant, found in the link above, and they will be happy to arrange a meeting with your HOA.

Watch this Southlake Police Department message to help remind you to protect your valuables following the Hide, Lock and Take guidelines.

Message from the Chief of Police

Chief Mylett picTo the residents of Southlake,

As the Police Chief for the City of Southlake, it is my privilege to report that crime in the City of Southlake is on a downward trend. This is great news for the Police Department and YOU — our citizens. The reduction in crime was made possible, in large part, because of the role you played in our policing efforts – from following the Hide, Lock, Take guidelines to reporting suspicious activity in your neighborhood.

The Southlake Police Department is so proud of the unique partnership we have formed with our citizens. Your efforts to heed safety warnings play such a pivotal role in our efforts to reduce crime and reduce the threat of crime and help prevent you from becoming a victim.

As a police department, we have taken strategic measures and initiated programs that work! Some of them include; the Hide, Lock, Take program, Holiday Crime Initiative, neighborhood and business watches and checks initiated by our Patrol Division, our District Sergeants Program, police officers attending HOA and SPARK meetings, and our Community Initiatives efforts to help educate the public. These programs, along with our active base of volunteers including Cops on Patrol (COPs) and Volunteers in Policing (VIPs) and our messaging and communication efforts to ‘you’ – the citizen — have resulted in the significant drop in burglaries and thefts.

The overall decrease in crime statistics for the last 3 years is very impressive. Take a look:

CRIME REDUCTION IN SOUTHLAKE

Auto Burglaries – decreased by 33%
Residential Burglaries – decreased by 39%
Accidents – decreased by 13%
Thefts – decreased by 4%

As we set our sights on 2015, let’s continue this trend of working together to reduce crime even more this year.

A hearty congratulations to all of you and on behalf of the Southlake Police Department and City leaders I want to, “Thank you” for helping us reach this milestone.

Chief Mylett

Home Safety Tips

“Tis the season to guard against burglars who could be targeting your home. The Southlake Police Department wants to help residents make it harder for burglars to commit home break-ins with some simple safety tips.

Since most burglaries occur during the day when you may be at work, be sure to always lock your home up tight.

Here are some other tips to help make your home less attractive to thieves.

Home Safety Tips:

  • Make your home look occupied, and make it difficult to break in.
  • Lock all outside doors and windows before you leave the house or go to bed. Even if it is for a short time, lock your doors.
  • Leave lights on when you go out. If you are going to be away for a length of time, connect some lamps to automatic timers to turn them on in the evening and off during the day.
  • Keep your garage door closed and locked.
  • Don’t allow daily deliveries of mail, newspapers or flyers build up while you are away. Arrange with the Post Office to hold your mail, or arrange for a friend or neighbor to take them regularly.
  • Arrange for your lawn to be mowed if you are going away for an extended time.
  • Check your locks on doors and windows and replace them with secure devices as necessary.
  • Push button locks on doorknobs are easy for burglars to open. Install deadbolt lock on all your outside doors.
  • Sliding glass doors are vulnerable. Special locks are available for better security.
  • Other windows may need better locks. Check with a locksmith or hardware store for alternatives.

Don’t Tempt a Thief:

  • Lawn mowers, barbecues and bicycles are best stored out of sight
  • Always lock your garden sheds and garages.
  • Use curtains on garage and basement windows.
  • Never leave notes on your door such as “Gone shopping.”

Locks — Get the Best Available:

  • No lock, regardless of its quality, can be truly effective. Key-in dead bolt locks provide minimum security. Ask a locksmith for advice on your situation.
  • Change locks immediately if your keys are lost or stolen.
  • When moving into a new home, have all locks changed.

Targeting the Outside:

  • Have adequate exterior lighting. A motion-sensitive light is recommended for backyards.
  • Trim trees and shrubs so that they cannot be used as hiding places for intruders.
  • Make sure your door hinges are on the inside.

Windows:

  • Most windows can be pinned for security.
  • Drill a 3/16″ hole on a slight downward slant through the inside window frame and halfway into the outside frame – place a nail in the hole to secure the window.

Alarms:

  • An alarm system is excellent for home security. It provides peace of mind to homeowners, especially while on vacation. There are a wide variety of alarm systems on the market.
  • Make several inquiries to different companies for the best security system available to you.
  • If you have a home alarm system, use it! Activate your alarm system — Alarm systems are only useful when you remember to activate them.
  • Many individuals have alarm systems but do not arm them because it is inconvenient. Many burglars know this and will not be deterred by a window sticker or sign indicating that the home has an alarm system.

What to Do If Your Home Is Broken Into:

If you come home to find an unexplained open/broken window or door:

  • Do not enter – the perpetrator may still be inside.
  • Leave the residence and use your cell phone to call the police.
  • Do not touch anything or clean up until the police have inspected for evidence.
  • Write down the license plate numbers of any suspicious vehicles.
  • Note the descriptions of any suspicious persons.

Other precautions you should take:

  • Never leave keys under doormats, flowerpots, mailboxes or other “secret” hiding places — burglars know where to look for hidden keys.
  • Keep a detailed inventory of your valuable possessions, including a description of the items, date of purchase and original value, and serial numbers, and keep a copy in a safe place away from home — this is a good precaution in case of fires or other disasters. Make a photographic or video record of valuable objects, heirlooms and antiques. Your insurance company can provide assistance in making and keeping your inventory.
  • Trim your shrubbery around your home to reduce cover for burglars.
  • Be a good neighbor. If you notice anything suspicious in your neighborhood, call 9-1-1 immediately.
  • Mark your valuables with your driver’s license number with an engraver you can borrow from your precinct. Marked items are harder for a burglar to dispose of and easier for police to recover.
  • Form a Neighborhood Watch Group. We can help you work with your neighbors to improve security and reduce risk of burglary.
  • Consider installing a burglar alarm system.

And last but not least, you can contact the Southlake Police Department to request a “House Watch” for your home while you’re on vacation.  You may request that an officer from the Southlake Police Department come to your house to do a “Home Security” check.  Contact our Community Initiatives Coordinator Valerie Snyder at 817-748-8173.  If you have further questions about home safety simply contact your designated District Sergeant for your area.  The house watch form and information about the District Sergeants program can be found on the website at www.cityofsouthlake.com click on “Our Government” then click on the Police Department link. Have a safe and Happy Holiday.

 

Southlake Crime Solvers!

The citizens of Southlake are fortunate to live in a very safe community with a relatively low crime rate; however, when a crime does occur, whether it is a vehicle burglary or burglary of a building or a more serious offense, Police Detectives and our Crime Scene and Evidence Technician immediately goes into action to try to solve the case. DSC_6416

When they first arrive at a crime scene they will scour the area for evidence, dust for fingerprints, take crime scene photographs and look for any clues that were left behind that may help them catch a criminal. Once they have gathered all of their evidence, they must then properly store and label each piece of evidence. Once back at the crime lab the evidence is processed and stored while the case is being investigated and leads are generated.   DSC_6426

These recent pictures, taken by our ace photographer and COPs Volunteer Cindy Robinson, provide a great snapshot of the often-tedious work involved in working a crime scene. It takes a great team effort by Southlake Police Officers, Detectives and the Crime Scene Technician working closely together to solve a case.
One of the most frequent crimes that officers respond to is — vehicle of a burglary. Southlake residents can do their part by following a few simple tips to avoid becoming a victim of a crime especially with the busiest shopping season upon us.

Practice Hide, Lock, Take

  • Hide your things
  • Lock your car
  • Take your keys

Thieves are waiting and watching as shoppers place their brand new items in their car and continue shopping at other stores. If your purchases are placed in plain view inside your vehicle – you can become a victim within seconds. Even if your car is locked thieves will smash a window, grab your newly purchased items and be gone. Lock your valuables inside your trunk and that includes; cell phones, purses, laptops and anything of value.
The Southlake Police Department will be kicking off our Holiday Safety Initiative on the busiest shopping day of the year, November 28th, the day after Thanksgiving – but it would be a good idea to get into the habit of remembering this simple motto – HIDE, LOCK, TAKE! The Southlake Police Department wants to help you have a safe and happy holiday.

Crime Reduced During Holiday Initiative

The results are in from the Southlake Police Department’s Holiday Safety Initiative. Crime was down again this year thanks to the proactive policing measures and efforts by the community to help reduce crime.  The safety initiative was a true partnership with the community and helped to prevent residents and visitors, who shopped in Southlake, from becoming victims of theft and other crimes during the busiest shopping months of the year.

The Holiday Safety Initiative, which began on black Friday and ended on January 4, 2014, included additional police officers patrolling Town Square and other shopping areas.  It also included a combined use of: police motorcycles; patrol officers; bike and foot patrols; the Skywatch Tower (strategically placed and rotated at various locations); videocameras in Town Square; undercover police officers; the Grinch Patrol; vehicle report card; DPS Southlake Citizens on Patrol (COPs); and other volunteers who served us well as extra eyes and ears for potential criminal activity.

The Holiday Safety Initiative resulted in a reduction in crime in the following areas:

  • Zero robberies (down from the previous year)
  • Zero ‘burglaries of a building’ (down from the previous year)
  • Two vehicle burglaries (down from the previous year)
  • Twelve thefts with twelve arrests (down from the previous year)

Southlake citizens can take pride in knowing that they did their part to help reduce crime. Residents followed several simple anti-theft and anti-crime tips especially, the HIDE, LOCK, TAKE initiative: “Hide your things, Lock your car, Take your keys.” Their efforts greatly deterred thieves who were waiting and watching for shoppers to leave valuables and packages in their vehicles. Southlake Police Chief Steve Mylett says, “We would really like to thank the Southlake community, and visitors who shopped in our City, for working with us to help reduce crime. The Holiday Safety Initiative was very successful, as these statistics show, and that’s due in part to the efforts of our citizens.” Chief Mylett added that it was a great team effort by everyone involved in the initiative.

(*if you want or need to report any suspicious activity to the Southlake Police Department. You can call the non-emergency number at 817-743-4522 or 911.)  Thank you for your continued support.

Public Works Helps Police With "Hide, Lock, Take" Initiative

The Southlake Police Department would like to send a special “Thank you” to employees with the Public Works Department for assisting us with displaying dozens of Hide, Lock, Take signs around Southlake Town Square.  The signs are part of the police department’s Holiday Safety Initiative to help reduce vehicle burglaries. The program has a simple but valuable message. “Hide your things, Lock your vehicle and Take your keys.”

Our Community Initiatives Officer Renni Burt, along with several Southlake Police Officers, also met with local business owners and managers to make them aware of the program and ask for their assistance in reminding shoppers to follow the Hide, Lock, Take guidelines.  Police Chief Stephen Mylett says, “Reducing thefts in the City of Southlake is a community effort and the police department is confident this proactive approach will make a positive difference.”

Vehicle burglaries can occur at any time but they typically increase during the holidays.  Thieves are looking for any valuables left in plain view inside cars including: shopping bags from items that you just purchased to laptops and iPhones.  “If a thief spies something they want, even if your car is locked, they will smash a window and take it. Our goal is to help our citizens and visitors to the City of Southlake avoid becoming victims of a crime,” added Chief Mylett. The Hide, Lock, Take signs will serve as an added reminder to shoppers and a great deterrent to thieves.

The Southlake Police Department has purchased one hundred of the Hide, Lock, Take signs with plans to put them in various shopping areas and other high traffic areas throughout the City including the local tennis court to help reduce thefts.

Remember, it takes only seconds for thieves to steal your valuables from inside your vehicle so take a few moments to Hide your things, Lock your car and Take your keys.  We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable Holiday shopping experience in the City of Southlake.