Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

September 4, 2013

Baby, you can’t drive my car


Mineral Wells Index

— By CLINT FOSTER



It would appear that local criminals have taken particular interest in stationary vehicles lately. The Mineral Wells Police Department reported six vehicles were burglarized over the last two weeks and a truck was stolen.

Mineral Wells Chief of Police Dean Sullivan said, although this is not acceptable, six burglaries in two weeks are by no means a rash or anything to be alarmed about. He said all six burglaries appear unrelated, occurring at sporadic times and places with no specific pattern. However, Mineral Wells has only seen 12 vehicle burglaries in the last two months, meaning half of those have occurred fairly recently.

The first burglary took place on the 1900 block of SE 11 Street late at night on Aug. 21. Police report the victim’s two cars were burglarized with two pistols stolen from one – a Taurus PT 24/7 Pro and an EAA Witness Polymer, both estimated at $400 each. According to police, the cars were unlocked and the stolen pistols have not been recovered.

Another burglary occurred on SE 1st Street around high noon on Aug. 24. Police said the victim left her coach purse, valued at $500, and $300 cash in her car while she went inside a building to get her haircut.

When the victim returned to her car, the items were gone.

The other four burglaries follow similar story lines.  In one instance, police report a man’s leaf blower and gas were stolen from his truck after he spent three hours in El Paseo. Another man found his cordless Dewalt tools missing from the bed of his truck in the 600 block of SE 13th Avenue evening of Aug. 30.

In response to the burglaries, Sullivan had this advice for the citizens of Mineral Wells.

“Looking at the majority of these incidents, it’s a good time to remind people, don’t leave your valuables inside of your vehicle, especially not your pistols or purses,” he said.

The recent vehicle-related crime was not limited to burglaries. Police report a man stole a truck just before 3 p.m. around the 1100 block of SE 17th Street on Aug. 31. According to MWPD, the call was just about to be dispatched when an officer driving south on South Oak Avenue saw the stolen 1991 Chevrolet Silverado pickup speed in front of him on SW 15th St. A pursuit followed. Police said the officer chased the truck down the length of 15th to a dead end. At that time, a shirtless man dove from the moving truck, which crashed into a fence. The subject escaped on foot into grass – which was several feet high – in the field adjacent to the crash. The suspect remains at large, carrying offenses of evading arrest and unauthorized use of a vehicle.

“We just need to be more vigilant in locking our cars, taking our keys and hiding our stuff,” Sullivan said of the incidents. “If at all possible, take your valuables inside with you. Some of the tools were stolen without any forced entry; you wouldn’t think it could happen here, but it does. People will steal from you.”

Sullivan’s words ring true. After all, Gary Numan sang in 1979 that in his car, he felt safest  of all... he could lock all his doors. “It’s the only way to live, in cars.”

Follow Clint on Twitter @Clint_Foster55