Santa's Supply Chain Secrets, Revealed! and Other Unexpected Lessons From This Weekend in Crime

Christmas is just eight days away, so people are rushing to get last-minute gifts. iPhones are always popular, and one can never go wrong with cash. Of course, everything's so much cheaper when you just take it, as demonstrated by this weekend's police calls. Even Santa got in on the action.

Saturday, 2:43 a.m.: In an apparent burglary attempt, someone slammed a Ford F350, most likely stolen, into an ATM at Inwood National Bank in the 1500 block of Buckner Boulevard

It didn't work. The impact ruined the $35,000 ATM but not so much that the thief had access to the cash. He fled on foot, leaving the wrecked truck behind.

Saturday, 3:14 a.m.A Dallas police officer was patrolling the streets of Preston Hollow for an off-duty job when he spotted a suspicious-looking 1995 Dodge pickup creeping down the 6200 block of Park Lane. The officer followed at a distance as the truck, registered out of Linden, Texas, turned right onto Edgemere, then onto Woodland. Then, noticing that its registration was expired, he turned on his lights to perform a traffic stop.

The driver of the truck was having none of it and stepped on the gas. The officer hung back -- DPD policy prohibits car chases for non-violent offenses, and watched the car speed away and make a wild right turn onto Preston Road, where he nearly struck a passing vehicle before promptly colliding with a tree in the median.

The driver got out of the truck and took off running the 5900 block of Woodland Drive, with the officer, gun drawn, giving chase on foot. They scaled several fences and tore through several backyards before the officer lost sight of the man as he ran through a drainage culvert and slipped beneath a space under a nearby fence line.

The officer flagged down the woman whom the Dodge pickup had almost hit, and she agreed to drive him to the end of the street where he hoped to cut off the suspect. Backup arrived soon after, and officers set up a perimeter and deployed the K-9 unit, but to no avail. The Dodge pickup, which was believed to be stolen, was towed to the city pound.

Saturday, 2:10 p.m.: A man strolled into the Knox Street Apple Store, grabbed six phones from a display, and, after ripping off the security devices, ran out with his lookout into a waiting getaway car.

That's not terribly interesting, except that the store manager told police that the exact same guy had done the exact same thing on December 4. They just hadn't reported it to police or, apparently, done anything to prevent it from happening again. And that theft came just after thieves busted through the store's wall in a meticulously planned computer heist.

Saturday, 6:40 p.m.: A thief stole 29 containers of eye shadow and 32 tubes of Maybelline lip gloss, worth more than $400, from Walmart on Cockrell Hill Road. Police say it was this guy:

Sunday, 1:30 a.m.: Three teenage girls staying at the Hilton Anatole were headed to Room 410 for a party when they were met outside the door by 20-year-old Tayde Penaloza.

Penaloza, they told police, was in a screaming rage, yelling at them to stand back. He pointed a handgun at their chests and pulled the trigger. The bullet missed. They ran to the hotel parking lot and called police.

Reporting officers took custody of Penaloza as he stumbled out of the hotel, fighting with security. During a pat down, they came upon a cylindrical object in his pocket, which turned out not to be the .22-caliber handgun -- that was in his left shoe -- but an unmarked prescription bottle filled with pain killers for which Penaloza did not have a prescription.

En route to Dallas County Jail on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and drug possession, Penaloza vomited in the back of the squad car.

Sunday, 10:20 a.m.: Someone stole a $100 Santa suit and 10 packages of wrapping paper from the Party City in the 6400 block of Northwest Highway. Just in case you were wondering how the big guy stocks up for the holidays.

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Eric Nicholson
Contact: Eric Nicholson