DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Homeowners in several Dallas neighborhoods have been on edge after dozens of victims were robbed in their own driveways. But now, there may be a break in the case. Police have two people in custody that are believed to be connected to the crime spree.
Another robbery was reported Thursday night in the 1100 block of Montclair Avenue, where a wallet was stolen. But shortly after the incident, not far from that location, two police officers were on their way to an off-duty job when they spotted someone throw a wallet from a silver Chevrolet Captiva. The two people inside — a man and a woman — matched the descriptions of individuals involved in a few of the driveway robbery cases. Police later determined the wallet was directly connected to the Montclair robbery.
When the officers stopped the SUV, they found a black shirt and a mask inside, as well as a butcher knife in the woman’s purse. Police also found stolen IDs and credit cards from previous robberies, according to court documents. The suspects have been identified as 51-year-old Charles Hunt and 27-year-old Santana Andrews. They were taken into custody at the scene. Dallas police say Hunt is already on parole for robbery, and police are taking action to revoke his parole. Bond has been set at $750,000 for Hunt; $250,00 for Andrews. Police have not revealed the relationship between the suspects.
Maj. Jeff Cotner says police are certain that these two individuals are responsible for at least three of the robberies. However, authorities are warning residents that they should not let down their guard just yet. At a news conference, police restated what they have been saying for weeks. They believe that various individuals have been related to the driveway robberies. While an astounding 24 robberies have been linked, these are only two arrests in what is thought to be a large network of criminals. “There may be some crew,” explained Maj. Cotner, “that may have some networking going on.”
The driveway robberies have happened all over the city of Dallas — nine in the northeast, four in the southeast, two in the northwest, seven in the southwest, and two in the central division. But thankfully, nobody has been injured during any of these incidents. The victims were all robbed in their driveways, always in the evening and always by a person wearing a mask. Officials with the Dallas Police Department said that they have launched a new initiative in order to prioritize their investigation.
“What we have here is seven patrol station coming together with detectives and our fugitive unit,” said Cotner, “and we’re working 24/7/365 on this issue from an operational standpoint.”
Cotner also added that police are most in need of information from the public. Any suspicious individuals in the neighborhood should be reported to police. Residents should be aware of license plates and call 911 if something does not look normal. Crime Stoppers and Oak Farms Dairy are each offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and indictment in this case.
CBS 11’s Susy Solis spoke to the Montclair robbery victim, who said a masked man holding a gun approached him at his front door and demanded his wallet. He handed over the wallet and then called police. As he was describing the suspects to a 911 dispatcher, the operator told him police were believed to have the suspects in custody. The homeowner received his wallet back but there was nothing inside.
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