Gunman Robs Couple in Driveway

Buried in the police report I posted this morning — but worthy of more attention — is this:

At 10:58 p.m. on Friday, a robber armed with a semi-automatic gun and wearing a ski mask approached a couple in their driveway in the 3800 block of Centenary Drive and stole a $75 purse, a $60 wallet, $60 in cash, $50 worth of cosmetics, five credit cards, and at least one driver’s license. A vehicle could be heard speeding away.

I’ve left a message at the only listed number I could find for the victims. I’ll update this post if they call me back, but, because this is Christmas Eve, I’m not holding my breath.

Meanwhile, this seems like as good a time as any to review the other armed robberies we had in the Park Cities this year.

The excitement started back in January, when Highland Park Department of Public Safety Sgt. Lance Koppa issued a news release in the middle of the night.

In August, we had two incidents of knifepoint robberies in as many weeks. The first one was memorable because the victims weren’t so easy to deal with. The second one was hard to forget because of the creepy way the thug told his victim to stay quiet.

Finally, in October, we had the case of the man who ran inside and slammed the door on a gunman.

Am I forgetting any similar incidents?

Update at 3:23: Much to my surprise, one of the victims in the most recent robbery called me back this afternoon. He said he and his wife had just arrived home from an evening out on Friday when the ski-masked robber grabbed his wife around the neck and put a gun to her head.

“At first, I thought it was a joke,” the husband told me, echoing the sentiments of the victims in the first August incident linked above. The University Park couple’s older son, who often wears a knit cap, is in town for Christmas, and the husband thought it might have been a prank. “That didn’t last very long.”

The husband said the robber was very calm and businesslike, as if he’s done this sort of thing before. He told the couple, “You guys do what I say, and nobody’ll get shot,” before demanding the wife’s purse and the husband’s wallet.

The wife asked if she could keep her phone; much to the husband’s surprise, the robber agreed. He removed it from the purse and threw it into some bushes, where it was easy enough to find after he was gone. Before he left, he ordered the couple to lie facedown on their driveway.

The husband said he’d never had a gun pointed at him before Friday.

“I should have been scared, but I was just pissed off,” he said. “How dare you do this in my driveway?”

But the incident is not going to keep the couple from having a merry Christmas, the husband said, because the robber made off with little more than his wife’s lipstick.

“I hope it’s his shade,” he said with a laugh.

By Dan Koller Dec. 24, 2013 | 11:20 am | 13 Comments | Comments RSS
13 comments to "Gunman Robs Couple in Driveway"
  1. Sara @ December 26, 2013 at 12:39 am
    Maybe I’m missing something here, but why do all these people think their kids are playing tricks on them?! Is this that common!!?

  2. Valerie @ December 26, 2013 at 9:39 am
    “I should have been scared, but I was just pissed off,” he said. “How dare you do this in my driveway?”

    Let’s be honest: You changed your underwear and popped a few Valium after the robber made his escape.

  3. 1st anon @ December 26, 2013 at 11:26 am
    We’ve got cameras at every intersection recording license plates. Don’t the police have a record of every vehicle that exited University Park for the 10 minutes following 10:58pm Friday night?

  4. Steve @ December 27, 2013 at 2:02 pm
    Maybe he/she went north and avoided the UP cameras and Dallas PD won’t spend any time on this.

  5. ParkieNick @ December 27, 2013 at 3:55 pm
    @1stAnon – No. The cameras on the stop lights do not record. They are for real time traffic studies for traffic flow and light timing.

  6. 1st anon @ December 27, 2013 at 5:19 pm
    The cameras are certainly for more than traffic studies. They are typically referred to as RLCs, or red-light cameras. Perhaps they don’t record license plates of cars going through the green lights.

    In any case, with the number of muggings in the Park Cities, I would certainly try to get that information from whoever has the data.

  7. Anon @ December 28, 2013 at 3:33 pm
    @1st Anon – Red Light Cameras will be found on the ground pointing at an intersection to capture a violator’s rear license plate as they are running a red light…they would never be trying to capture a front LP since not all cars have front license plates…a car registered in Texas is required to have both a front and rear license plate, but not all states require the same. As stated in a previous comment, those cameras control and affect the timing of the lights at the intersection to try and make traffic move more efficiently through the intersection. I cannot speak to what UP has, but I can say that there are no red light cameras in HP, nor are there any cameras that “record license plates”.

  8. I don't think so @ December 28, 2013 at 3:44 pm
    @1st anon – The RLC’s you refer to are cameras located at intersections like Lemmon and Northwest HWY. The cameras in question do not sit atop the traffic light posts but in white boxes by the intersection. ParkieNick is right in that they are not recording but live feeds. Perhaps the may record their live feeds but that would require a lot more hardware than the scope ParkieNick state.

  9. Anon @ December 28, 2013 at 3:49 pm
    ooops…I forgot Dallas has a few red light cameras that are mounted to light poles, like the ones at eastbound Oak Lawn @ Lemmon, but again they are going to capture the rear license plate as they run that red light

  10. ParkieNick @ December 28, 2013 at 6:27 pm
    @1st Anon – there are only two intersections in U.P. with red light cameras. As mentioned, they only catch those running a red light, so the chances that they caught the suspect vehicle are very slim. Even if they did, there would be no way to know if it was the suspect since there is not a discription of the vehicle. There are cameras affixed atop each red light in U.P. however those are not recording, so there is no data to go back to or look at.

  11. 1st anon @ December 28, 2013 at 8:16 pm
    I’m not sure what UP and/or HP are recording with the cameras that are posted. I assumed that they are RLCs like the Dallas-based cameras at Lover’s/Central. I do know that the RLCs at Lover’s/Central do record video (unfortunately, firsthand experience).

    A little cursory research reveals that RLCs have built-in technology so that the cameras are tripped only on red.

    Now I’m wondering out loud a little bit …. It would not be a stretch to modify the logic to record each license plate as it goes through. It seems like it would be of use (if the data is available in real-time) for Amber Alerts.

    Of course, it starts to become a privacy issue and people start to get paranoid (see NSA as example). Personally, I don’t have an issue with local police recording my license plate as I go through a green light; as long as the data is destroyed in a reasonable time.

  12. ParkieNick @ December 29, 2013 at 8:16 pm
    @ 1st Anon – Privacy becomes a HUGE issue. I’m like you and really don’t care if I am recording going through an intersection, however many are. Also, when it comes to the red light cameras, there is fact that these are all owned and maintained by private companies, not the police departments or cities. Therefore, the data, and the addition of the ability to record and store all of the information would be up to the company which owns that equipment, and the data collected would not be stored with law enforcement, but instead it would be the property of a private company. It gets a bit schetchy.

  13. jbw @ December 30, 2013 at 7:48 am
    @Sara: Right? Because having a gun to your head is so funny.

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