Typically, Dallas saves its wilder side for the weekend. That's when, once the booze and drugs are flowing in earnest, the weird crimes tend to happen. But the weekend arrived early, with police reporting an armed diaper bag robbery, a Craigslist heist and a low-budget movie production scaring the bejesus out of people with a bunch of toy AK-47s. Among other things.
So here are the highlights from the Dallas police reports filed overnight:
4:35 p.m.: Moms carry all sorts of things in diaper bags. Bottles, toys, and kid's clothes, of course, but also jewelry, a cash-filled wallet, and other things of value. You never really know until you steal one at gunpoint and look inside.
The man who robbed a 35-year-old woman of her zebra-print tote yesterday afternoon at her Northeast Dallas apartment complex was probably disappointed to find the bag contained none of that, just a few diapers and a little bit of formula. He went to a lot of trouble, after all, sneaking up behind her, putting a gun first to her head, then to the stomach of one of her young children, and pushing her two other children to the ground.
A neighbor called police, but the robber, black, about 5-foot-9 and wearing a black hoodie and green-tipped Nikes, had already made off with the zebra-themed loot.
7:05 p.m.: A member of the Temple of God on Scyene Road was at the church on Thursday evening when a man walked in. "Can I have your piano?" he asked. The congregant refused, which made the man extremely angry. He began to yell and refused to leave.
He finally agreed to go when the churchgoer threatened to call police, but that didn't mean he'd gotten over his rage at being denied the piano. He walked outside, went to the side of the church, and punched through one of the windows.
9 p.m.: A 19-year-old Arlington man and a friend showed up in Red Bird to sell a MacBook Pro they'd been advertising on Craigslist. They'd been texting back and forth with the buyer for a few days and had agreed to meet in the parking lot of the Thurgood Marshall Recreation Center. When they got there, they let the buyer examine the laptop and, apparently satisfied, he reached for his pocket.
Instead of cash, the man pulled out a black semiautomatic and pointed at the 19-year-old's chest. "I'll tell you what," he said. "Get back." The two of them left and called police from a gas station. The man vanished.
9:02 p.m.: Drivers on Walton Walker Boulevard were rather alarmed to spot an enormous fight outside the Fiesta Event Center between a bunch of people holding AK-47s. Police rolled up not long after with guns drawn, ordering the gunmen in the crows to drop their weapons.
Officers quickly discovered that the guns were plastic toys. They were being used for a movie that was being filmed at the location. The officers were suspicious. None of the people at the scene had filed any event paperwork (they claimed to have the property owner's permission to film there) and a search turned up a very real Colt .357. No one stepped forward to claim the weapon, so the officers took it and checked it into the police property room.
3:10 a.m.: A 19-year-old man was walking home from work along Greenville Avenue in Vickery Meadow when a guy stopped him and asked if he could use the teen's cell phone to call his girlfriend. The teen walked with the guy to a red Chevy Tahoe with Iowa plates and got in, possibly to catch a ride home, though the police report doesn't say.
There was another man in the car who, once they started driving, told the teen he had a gun and not to make him use it. They drove to a Quiktrip across from Presbyterian Hospital. The gunman -- if in fact he did have a gun -- took the 19-year-old inside to the ATM and demanded that he withdraw $300.
But the teen wasn't as rich as he must have looked schlepping along Greenville. He only had enough in his account to take out $20 which, added to the $5 bill in his wallet, meant the robbers came away with a massive $25 haul.
They were apparently satisfied. They gave the teen his phone back and drove off.