In the Katy Trail Robberies, Police Reports Paint Portrait of Bumbling, Brazen Criminals

We know a lot more about the string of recent armed robberies at the Katy Trail since the Dallas Police Department initially released some details on the incidents yesterday. We know, for example, that police think all were committed by a pair of black men in their 20s who were driving a silver, four-door sedan and armed with semi-automatic handguns. We also know that the Katy Trail muggings are connected with 11 others reported around Uptown since May 4.

The specifics on those incidents were revealed when police passed along a digital stack of incident reports late yesterday afternoon, detailing some pretty harrowing confrontations.

In one of the cases, a 34-year-old man was on the Katy Trail near Blackburn when the suspects sprinted to him, pointed a gun to his head and demanded everything he had. In another incident, the attackers demanded money from a 42-year-old man who was walking to his car in the 5200 block of Milam Street. When he tried to run to his car, he was pushed down, punched and kicked.

All told, the thieves made off with $7,291 in cell phones, purses, cash, etc. taken from the victims, according to the reports, which is a pretty lucrative take for a little more than a week's work.

But the reports also tell us that the thieves weren't exactly Danny Ocean. One 26-year-old woman fought them off when they tried to yank off her gold necklace as she walked in the 4500 block of McKinney Avenue. More tellingly, police recovered a gun, complete with fingerprints, at the scene of a May 5 attack at 3200 Carlisle Place. They were also apparently unaware that cell phones can be tracked; one victim, a 25-year-old man jumped in the 3700 block of Travis Street, pinpointed his iPhone's location at 3 a.m. Monday morning to somewhere between 4001 and 4127 Camp Wisdom Road.

Sr. Cprl. Kevin Janse, a DPD spokesman, said police aren't 100 percent certain that the gun recovered is connected to the Katy Trail robberies, since it occurred several blocks away. No additional information was included in the report on how helpful the iPhone's location has proved to be.

As fear-inducing as these attacks have been, they don't exactly shake my faith in the safety of the Katy Trail, given that all appear to have been carried out by two stupid and greedy young men in search of a quick buck. Besides, based on the apparent lapses of the robbers, not to mention the mountain of publicity lighting a fire under police, I doubt they will be at large for long.

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Eric Nicholson
Contact: Eric Nicholson