The annual Uniform Crime Report shows that 2014 crime in Lewisville was at its lowest level in more than a decade, down almost 30 percent since 2004. According to Police Chief Russ Kerbow, 2014 crime stats are the lowest since 1985.
“Even with the very slight increase in Part I crimes, I am pleased overall with the downward trend in crime reporting,” Kerbow said. “The department relies upon and enjoys the cooperation of our residents in efforts to avoid becoming a victim of crime. Crime prevention is a community responsibility.”
Lewisville Police Department captures crime statistics for both voluntary submission to the UCR and for departmental use. Lewisville has a relatively low number of reports among several crime types so small numerical changes can represent large percentage changes. Crime statistics can be challenging for other reasons as well, including the reluctance of some victims to report crimes.
For reported offenses in 2014, Lewisville had a small increase in Part I offenses over 2013 (4.2 percent), although decreases were noted for Rape (-40.7 percent), Robbery (-27.6 percent), Burglary (-2.2 percent) and Motor Vehicle Theft (-6.1 percent). Larceny also continued a downward trend for the second year in a row. Substance abuse offenses showed a small increase over 2013, but non-violent activity saw an overall decrease. While Part I crimes increased slightly at 4.2 percent, Part II crimes decreased by 8.8 percent for an overall crime rate decrease of 4 percent.
The Uniform Crime Report is an annual report issued by the FBI that presents data on selected categories of crimes reported to participating police departments. Offenses in the UCR are divided into two groups, Part I and Part II. Part 1 crimes encompass most violent crimes, as well as certain property crimes. Part II offenses include lesser, mostly non-violent crimes; only arrests are reported for Part II offenses.
The Lewisville Texan Journal prepared a few charts to illustrate the crime rates per thousand residents over the past six years, compared to the national crime rate. FBI data was used for the national rates, but 2014 data is not yet available from the FBI. Populations used for Lewisville came from 2013 Census estimates for 2010-2013, with conservative extrapolations used for 2009, and 2014. Note that Lewisville population estimates are for Lewisville City only, but crime counts include Castle Hills, which causes the Lewisville rates to be artificially inflated.
Charts show that Lewisville exceeds national averages for rape, larceny, and auto theft, but is substantially lower than national averages in murder, robbery, burglary, and aggravated assault.
This article includes information from a submitted report.
Lewisville resident and Hebron High School / Killian Middle School parent Kronda Thimesch announced Wednesday that she has filed to run for the Place 1 Trustee position on the Lewisville Independent School District Board. The election will take place on May 9, 2015.
“As a parent, taxpayer and resident in Lewisville ISD for almost 25 years, I have been blessed with the opportunity to watch our school community develop. We are like no other district in the state because LISD is geographically large with unique growth patterns. I feel an obligation to take the next step in my service to our community, and would be honored to contribute my business and civic experience to the children and families of LISD.”
A graduate of Texas Tech University, Kronda majored in landscape architecture, where she met her husband Jeff. In May 1989, they co-founded Green Meadows Landscaping, based in Lewisville, which today serves business and residential clients all over the Metroplex. Kronda and Jeff have four children: Justin and Kaytin graduated from Hebron High and now attend Oklahoma State University; Jacob is in 11th grade at Hebron High, and Karissa is in 7th grade at Killian Middle School.
Living in three different LISD feeder patterns and raising four children in LISD schools has given Kronda a front-row seat to the district’s evolution. She has served on PTA at four different LISD campuses. “I know how hard our students, parents and educators are working to deliver on the promise of a high-quality education,” she said. “I would like to see a new group of stakeholders invest in our children: the corporations that are moving to North Texas to benefit from our business environment.”
Thursday morning, Lewisville police received a call at about 7:51 a.m. that a 17-year-old female student was approached by a man in a car who ordered her to "get in the car".
The incident happened at 256 East Corporate at the Somerset Apartment complex. Captain Dan Rochelle said that girl was a Lewisville High School student who was waiting on her bus to take her to school. The girl told police that a dark-skinned black man driving a gray or silver 4-door Cadillac drove up and told her to get in his car.
Rochelle said the girl ran off to another bus stop and was able to catch a bus to school. "She did the right thing," said Rochelle. In this incident, the suspect did not physically try to get the victim into his car. Although the man's actions are not necessarily illegal, Rochelle said Lewisville Police are concerned about the man's intent, and would like to find him and talk to him.
Anyone with information that would benefit either investigation is encouraged to call the Lewisville Police Department at (972) 219-3620 or the TIPS line at (972) 219-TIPS (8477). Anyone with a cell phone may also send an anonymous tip by texting “TipLPD” and their message to 847411.
After serving her first term as a member of the Lewisville ISD Board of Trustees, Trisha Sheffield filed her intent Wednesday to seek re-election to her Place 2 seat during the upcoming May 9 election.
“It has been an honor to serve the Lewisville ISD community these past three years. We are a phenomenal district and have much to celebrate. While we have some challenges and areas that need improvement, we are taking measured steps to evaluate major program areas and initiatives and focus on student achievement. This, too, is a time of transition for our district as we search for a new superintendent, and maintaining strong leadership in the boardroom will be important. In serving this past year as President of the Board of Trustees, I have worked hard to create a culture of collaboration that opens the door to communication, builds a positive climate, and establishes an ongoing dialogue focused on excellence and achievement, “ Trisha noted.
In addition to serving as Secretary, and now President, to the Board of Trustees, Sheffield’s service to Lewisville ISD extends far beyond monthly school board meetings. Since her election in 2012, she has made school and community interactions a priority. She regularly visits school campuses at the invitation of principals and teachers and stays connected to the larger LISD community through involvement in chamber, non-profit, and community events. Additionally, she has dedicated time and training to better understand and implement best practices for highly effective school boards and has been an involved advocate supporting public education.
Update 1/30/2015 - 10:15 a.m.: Lewisville Police, in cooperation with the Denton County Sheriff's Department have released a sketch of the suspect, which is shown at right. (Click to enlarge)
The victim said the suspect dragged his right foot, and had very chapped lips. His hair was groomed to a point in the back. She described the car's interior as light gray, and said that something (possibly dogtags) was hanging from the rear-view mirror.
Police do not believe this case is related to another active case in Plano.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015, at approximately 4:00 p.m., a female Durham Middle School student was contacted by a stranger in the 500 block of West Corporate, who offered her a ride. The suspect exited his vehicle and attempted to grab her after she refused. She was able to escape and run home, and was not harmed.
The victim describes him as a Hispanic male, with a mustache, thin build, in his thirties. He was wearing blue jeans and a white T-shirt. She further described his boots as being black with the words "Heavy Duty" on the sides of the boots, low by the inside arch. He was driving a dark colored four door car.
Anyone who witnessed this offense or has information that would benefit the investigation is encouraged to call the Lewisville Police Department at (972) 219-3620 or the TIPS line at (972) 219-TIPS (8477). Anyone with a cell phone may also send an anonymous tip by texting “TipLPD” and their message to 847411.
Wednesday, January 28th, filing begins in city council and school board elections for Lewisville and Lewisville ISD. The elections will be held on May 9th. For the city election, any runoff would be held on June 20th. School board elections do not have runoffs. Candidates in both city and school district races will have until 5 p.m. on February 27th to file for election or re-election.
City of Lewisville In the City of Lewisville, the offices of Mayor and Place 2 are up for election. Those seats are currently held by Mayor Dean Ueckert, and Deputy Mayor Pro Tem R. Neil Ferguson.
Ueckert served on the Lewisville City Council from 1998 to 2009, when he was first elected Mayor. He has served two three-year terms. As of last Tuesday, Ueckert said that his plan was to run for re-election.
Councilman Rudy Durham has filed to run for Mayor. Durham has served in Place 5 since 1994.
Ferguson was elected to Place 2 in 2011 to fill the remaining term of David Thornhill, who died unexpectedly with a year remaining in his term. Ferguson was re-elected for a full three-year term in 2012, and has filed for re-election.
Mayoral election years can sometimes result in additional vacancies on the City Council. If a sitting councilman chooses to run for Mayor, then that councilman's seat is added to the May election as well. Durham's filing means that his place 5 seat will be open. City Secretary Julie Heinze says that the City Council will have to call that election at their next meeting, and the filing period for that would run from February 6th - March 9th.
Legally, a candidate must be a qualified voter who has resided in the city for at least one year. In reality, a good bit more is necessary in order to have a chance of getting elected, and to do a good job in office.
Members of the City Council are paid $50 for each meeting attended, typically twice per month, plus an annual retreat and an annual budget workshop, and special meetings. Lewisville City Council seats are all at-large, meaning that all council members represent the entire city, and all voters vote on each place. A candidate must receive a majority of votes for the position to win the race. If no candidate receives a majority of votes, then the top two candidates in a given place will go to a runoff election, and voters will choose the winner.
Lewisville ISD For Lewisville ISD's Board of Trustees, places 1 and 2 will be on the ballot.
Place 1 is currently held by Kathy Duke. Duke served two three-year terms from 2004-2010, and then was elected to a third non-consecutive term in 2012. She currently serves as the board's vice president. Duke lives in Highland Village. We have not yet heard whether Duke intends to run for re-election. Kronda Thimesch has filed for the seat.
School board members are not paid for their service, and typically put in a good bit of extra time each year in training and conferences.
LISD Board seats are at-large, meaning that all of the qualified voters of the city are eligible to vote on each seat up for election each year. Elections are won by plurality, meaning the candidate receiving the most votes wins the seat, without the need for runoff elections.
Having followed the Lewisville City Council and city elections for years, it has become clear to me that it helps the discussion to lay out some framework on what types of qualifications make a good council member. As candidates announce their campaigns, we can examine them in light of these qualifications rather than the more squishy criteria of who we like, and who is most popular.
So here's my current list of what I consider to be qualifications:
• Has high intellectual capacity, and able to look beyond the superficial and quickly understand the nuance and complexity of the issues that face government.
• Has lived in the City of Lewisville a sufficient length of time to understand the demographics, the trends, the history, and the shared values of our citizens. Definitely not less than 5 years, but preferably more than 10.
• Has an up-to-date voter registration and a good history of voting in all elections, especially local ones, which evidence a long-term concern for local issues.
• Has consistently followed City Council actions, attended meetings, workshops, budget hearings, and retreats. Given that all of the meetings are open to the public, a candidate should have actively attended meetings-- not only to stay up-to-date on the issues frequently discussed, but to show a dedication and availability that will be required once they get on Council.
• Has demonstrated leadership by serving on one or more of the City's boards or commissions.
• Has demonstrated commitment to the City by volunteering for, or supporting one or more of the City's non-profit or civic groups.
• Is more dedicated to the City of Lewisville than to a political party or ideology. Partisan politics have ruined Washington and Austin. They cloud judgement and make it hard to work together for pragmatic solutions.
• Is not using the office for personal achievement or gain, or as a stepping stone to higher office. Time and time again we see politicians who see municipal service as nothing more than a platform for grandstanding and demagoguery. These people waste city resources and create strife, then run for higher office, leaving others to deal with the consequences and cleanup.
• Understands the relationship between city services, property values and quality of life.
• Demonstrates compassion for mankind by charity.
• Lives to a high standard of ethics in all that they do.
• Pays their taxes. The biggest part of the City Council's role is to set the budget and corresponding tax rate each year. It is hypocrisy for a council member not to be current on their city taxes.
• Puts the health and safety of the citizens above all else.
• Capable of listening to multiple points of view, and ensuring that all concerns are heard and addressed.
• Dedicated to seeking truthful information-- not just the information that may support their particular view on something.
• Doesn't have character flaws or a severe or untreated mental illness that would interfere with or distract from accomplishing the City's business.
• The candidate should not have an axe to grind. In other words, he or she should not be running because of a strong feeling or passion about one issue, or because the council ticked you off about something. The person MUST be able to put single issues behind them and focus on all the other issues that will come before them without having their judgment clouded by holding grudges over votes on the issue they feel strongest about. (Borrowed from Ken, below)
• Has the ability to understand the differences between local, state, and federal government issues, and work within the scope and constraints imposed on local government from above. (Borrowed from BC - via Facebook)
• Must be honest and truthful, and hold truthfulness as a strong personal value. Liars have no business in a position of public trust. Honesty is paramount.
The following items are included on this week's Lewisville Police Chief's update:
Attempted Burglary of a Building On Saturday the 24th just before 4:00 a.m., Patrol officers were dispatched to an alarm call at a convenience store in the 900 block of Valley Ridge. Suspects had backed a pick-up truck into the store and attempted to steal the ATM by pulling it out with a chain. They were unsuccessful and fled prior to officers’ arrival. The pick-up truck was discovered abandoned by officers in an apartment complex next door. The truck appears to be stolen, but we have been unable to locate the registered owner.
Driver Arrested for Possession of Hashish On Friday, the 23rd at approximately 9:30 p.m., Officers O’Hare and Gilleland observed a parked, unattended vehicle at the convenience store in the 1000 block of West Round Grove. The vehicle’s engine was running yet no one was around. The officers waited for the driver to return and contacted him about the violation. As the driver, a 22-year-old, was retrieving a document from inside the vehicle, the officers observed drug paraphernalia in the console. Officer Menz and canine “Immo” responded to assist in the search of the vehicle. Canine “Immo” alerted to the vehicle. Officers located approximately 27 grams of hashish in the vehicle. Officers arrested the suspect for Possession of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group Two (four grams or more, but less than 400 grams).
Traffic Stop Leads to Narcotics and Weapons Arrest Officer Limon Stopped a pick-up truck on Saturday evening the 24th because the driver was not wearing his seatbelt. The 19-year-old driver also was unable to display a driver's license. He was arrested on these charges. During an inventory of the vehicle prior to it being towed, officers discovered six pistols. They also found marijuana and bongs as well as 31 grams of cocaine. The suspect was also charged with Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon, Possession of Marijuana Under 2 Ounces, and Manufacture or Delivery of Controlled Substance Penalty Group one Over 4 grams.
FLOWER MOUND - The Flower Mound Police Department is asking for the public’s help in identifying a male suspect responsible for a string of vehicle burglaries in and around Flower Mound. The suspect has been targeting vehicles parked around fitness centers. Law enforcement officials believe the suspect watches for female customers to park their car and if they enter the gym with no purse, their vehicle then becomes a target. The individual will break a car window looking for a purse or other valuable goods. If he obtains credit cards, he uses them immediately after the burglaries before the credit card accounts can be closed.
Since September 2014, this individual is believed to have committed burglaries at fitness centers in Flower Mound, Highland Village, Southlake, and Colleyville.
The attached photograph was taken from security video at a retail outlet immediately after one of the burglaries. If anyone recognizes this individual please call the Flower Mound Police Department’s Tip Line at 972.874.3307. Callers may remain anonymous.
Known as “rib eye in the sky”, Sandhill cranes are great tasting and low in fat. They are great on the grill, but be careful not to over cook. My favorite two ways to cook them: Coffee-crusted Sandhill crane fillets, and bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers stuffed with grilled Sandhill crane fillets and cheese. There is still a short amount of time left to hunt them, with the season ending west of I-35 on February 1st.
A Texas hunting license with migratory game bird stamp and a free federal Sandhill crane hunting permit are required in order to hunt them. For more information on the regulations, see the Texas Parks and Wildlife 2014-15 Outdoor Annual. Sandhill Cranes may be taken with lead shot. However, Wildlife Management Areas and Federal Wildlife Refuges have special regulations requiring nontoxic shot for all game bird hunting, including Sandhill Cranes.
Larry Warnack is a long-time Lewisville resident who loves to hunt, fish, and cook. You can keep up with Larry on his Facebook group,Restaurant and Recipe Share.