At first glance, Reddit's Dallas thread may seem like an innocuous online forum where users engage in remarkably civil dialogue and provide easy content for Dallas' finest journalists, graciously allowing them to get to the bar before noon. But an in-depth investigation by Unfair Park has revealed a contingent of hardened criminals that make up the community's cold and stony heart.
Our investigation began yesterday afternoon when we received an anonymous tip that the Addison Police Department was investigating more than a dozen Dallas Redditors for engaging in organized crime. It ended a few minutes later after we'd followed the link we were provided and combed through 17 pages of Addison PD investigative files.
The reports show that Addison police first stumbled upon the alleged criminal conspiracy just after midnight on June 10, 2012. That's when three officers were called to a second-floor parking garage just off Addison Circle after complaints that 20 or so individuals were drinking there and causing a disturbance.
Arriving at the parking garage, one of the officers, Kyle Coffelt, spotted a 20-something man named James [we've been asked to redact full names and, as no charges were filed, have agreed] passed out in a car. He reeked strongly of alcohol and became "uncooperative and argumentative" during a voluntary field sobriety test.
As he was being arrested for public intoxication, James demanded to know if he had won the birthday scavenger hunt.
What James was referring to became clear when officers reached the southeast corner of the garage, where the party was taking place. There, they found a piece of paper with the title "Simon['s]... Bday and Drunk Scavenger Hunt Extravaganza" followed by a list of instructions: "Steal a road sign"; "A mother fucking table"; "Cup, menu, shot glass, shakers"; "Every License Plate you steal"; "Out of state license plate"; "Government Plates"; and so on.
The officers also found two tables, presumably of the "mother fucking" variety, covered with "26 license plates of varying states, 4 license plate covers, miscellaneous papers, a clock, a mug, a glass, a book, and two road signs."
Subsequent interviews, with Simon and others, revealed that the license plates had been stolen as part of a Dallas Reddit event organized by a mysterious user known only as "Kal." But the partygoers uniformly denied stealing any of the license plates or road signs, insisting the real culprits were other Redditors, strangers all, who had dropped by the party and left.
Police seized the license plates, which an intern spent the next month returning, but police had no evidence directly tying any of the 13 suspects to any crime. Reluctantly, they concluded that "there is insufficient evidence to prove [an organized crime charge] without direct confessions." The case was closed, as Officer Vincent notes in his conclusory report, "in the larger interest of justice and the resources of the Addison Police Department."
Or maybe Addison PD simply didn't have the spine to take down such a well-organized group of criminals. Smells like a coverup.