PAC3 | District 3 Crime Trends 8-1-18

Good Morning,

This is an update on the trends we are seeing in the district in regards to Motor Vehicle Thefts and Larcenies from Motor Vehicles.

We are seeing an increase in the number of vehicles that are reported stolen in which the vehicle was left running while the driver went into a business or residence.  Additionally we have reports of vehicles that had spare keys left in the car allowing for the theft. 

Tip: Simply, if you have to run in to a business or residence turn off the car and take the keys with you.  Do not leave spare keys in vehicles.

Over the last month the vast majority of Larceny from Motor Vehicle cases were reported with no forced entry and items left in plain view.  There have been numerous inquiries on the ability of a criminal to utilize an electronic device to unlock vehicles.  In a few of our cases investigators have not been able to determine the method of entry as the complainants have been adamant that the vehicles were locked.  While district investigators have not physically come across such devices during the course of our investigations, it is possible, although not conclusive, that such devices may be in use in the district.   Investigators have seen several surveillance videos from incidents in which it appears that a suspect unlocks a vehicle while approaching it.  Again, investigators have not confirmed the usage of these devices. 

These devices act like repeaters or range extenders for the signals.  While we do not have enough information on this technology, you can take a few simple steps that may be effective. 

Tip: Store key fobs and keyless remotes as far away from the parked vehicle as practically possible.   In older vehicles you could remove the remote batteries and just use the key, in newer models this would be impractical with the advent of keyless ignition.  There are commercially available storage/lock boxes and bags that block radio signals. 

Ultimately, we still stress for all to lock their vehicles and remove items from the interior of the vehicle that can be observed from the outside.  

Items that have been stolen recently include:  laptops, cell phones, purses, wallets, firearms, sports equipment, book bags and loose cash and coins. 

Captain Brian D. Reitz
District 3 Commander
Durham Police Department
(919) 560-4583, ext. 29352

National Night Out celebration Update

Hello Neighbors, 

Unfortunately due to a lack of interest, our annual NNO gathering will not happen this year on the 06 August 2018. This would have been our 9th annual celebration.

Many factors, but primarily an  overall lack of interest in having the event, have resulted in the event being cancelled. It takes time and participation in order to plan and coordinate for those who have worked on NNO event committees the past 8 years. 

This national celebration is also celebrated during the hottest time of year for us and on a Tues evening as well.

All is not lost however. We were thinking of having a neighborhood picnic in early October perhaps when the weather less hot and on a Friday or Sat evening. Feel free to comment with thoughts, interests and suggestions.

Stay cool and enjoy the rest of the summer.

UE Durham Community Watch Team.

Crime Update Re: Vehicle Break-ins

From the Durham Police Dept:

We are still experiencing a spike in vehicle break-ins where loaded firearms are being left in the car. In some cases the victim has no idea what the serial number is for the firearm: 

Tip: Please, please secure your firearm before you leave your car. We are also trending with the spare key fobs being left in the cars and the cars are being stolen. A good idea is to keep your spare key fob in an a secure area in your home. And take pictures of your serial numbers and valuable items.’


Be safe,

UE Durham Neighborhood Watch Team

Outdoor Yard Management for Summer Time

It’s that time of year. Many neighbors spend more time outdoors in their yards, and walking along our streets. Rains are rare to sporadic so the gardens we covet need an eyeful watch and some TLC while the ivy and weeds seem to have a life of their own.

How can we do to make our neighborhood the safest and best areas in South Durham?

Neighbors have recently provided some suggestions on outdoor maintenance for thought:

  • Control and/or remove invasive plants, particularly English ivy, Virginia creeper and Wisteria. These vines can be controlled but many are rampant and grow uncontrollably along the ground and up trees, eventually smothering them. Ivy in particular smothers native ground covers. Managing ivy will keep it confined and prevent it from growing up tree trunks or utility poles and further into your property or a neighbor’s yard. One means of ridding this ivy is to lay down and securing a black tarp to heat up and smother the ivy. It takes a season or two but works great without the need to pull out the vines or spray herbicides which can cause other environmental damage.
  • Remove poison ivy to the greatest extent possible. Also a vine, poison ivy can be cut back and controlled by a careful herbicide brush application. Limit herbicide sprays whenever possible. It grows particularly lush along some roadsides and yards. As most of our streets are without curbs, dogs, children and unsuspecting adults may come into contact. Dogs especially are vulnerable to contact and then their owners by petting the dog then have the well-known skin reaction from a transfer of the potent oil the plant leaves produce. This vine will also grow easily up into trees. If you are working with this vine it is critical to be fully gloved and clothed and when done to shower with warm soapy water as soon as possible after removing the vine. Never burn poison ivy as the oil can become an aromatic that can possibly affect those that come in contact with the smoke.
    Not sure you are looking at poison ivy? Some examples can be seen at
  • Non-native Wisteria is a vine that produces attractive purple flowers in the spring however the aggressive vine will cling on to any bush or tree branch as it tries to reach for more sunlight. The end result is that it will smother the host bush or tree. You can see an example of how aggressive the vine can be along the fence line in the Epworth church parking lot. To control sever the vine and apply a brush herbicide for vine control. It may take several seasons to control depending on the vine population. Dead vines would need to be removed from branches.
  • Tall grass, weeds, accumulated leaf litter, brush piles and over grown bushes can not only be unsightly but can also provide chiggers (a.k.a. mites) with a breeding ground which love our humid weather this time of year. Chiggers are microscopic so they are not easily seen but their bites are recognizable. The immature chigger will look for a meal of skin by attaching to humans or animals by direct contact or transfer. Chigger bites will itch like crazy because of the saliva they deposit on the skin. Keeping up with yard maintenance especially in shaded areas will help to reduce populations.

If you have other helpful suggestions for outdoor yard management feel free to post in the comments section.

District 3 Criminal Investigations weekly newsletter


Over the past two weeks we have experienced an uptick in motor vehicle break-ins on the Southeastern area of the district. In the Hope Valley, Highgate, Montclair and Falcon Bridge communities for example.  District 4 has experienced similar crimes. We are currently working with the District 4 Investigators to develop a suspect. We believe that the suspect(s) are either riding a bike or moped or possibly being dropped off by car in to the neighborhood unnoticed.

The modus operandi or criminal method the suspect(s) are using is the same in both districts. The suspect(s) enter the neighborhood under the cover of darkness often after midnight and walk against the tree line or the foliage undetected. And after the suspect(s) are reasonably sure that they are not discovered they perpetrate the crimes by looking for unlocked vehicles and ransack them by going through glove compartments and under the seats. In some cases the suspect(s) will throw a rock through the windows especially those with valuables in plain sight. But there is a more dangerous problem, people are still storing loaded firearms (2 more so far this week) in these vehicles which makes for adverse consequences for the good guys. Right now we have no suspect or suspect vehicle information.

With that said, over 97% of these cars were unlocked.

Tip: So two things, please call 911 when you see any suspicious vehicles or people in your neighborhoods. Secondly, please do not leave any items of value in your car and take your firearm in the house when you leave your car for the evening.

Finally, people are still leaving their garage doors open during the night with their spare keys located inside their cars. We have cases where the suspect(s) entered the garage and then the residence before stealing the victim’s car. Put your garage door down when you are home and especially before going to bed and don’t leave any spare keys in the car.

That’s all for now…stay safe and practice good crime prevention.

If you need me, call or email me.

Until next time,


Sargeant K.L. Johnson
Durham Police Department
Criminal Investigations Division
District 3
8 Consultant Place
Durham, North Carolina 27707
919-560-4583 ext 29359 (Office)
919-907-9810 (City Cell)

Loose German Shepherd at Yorkdale and Oxford

There is a loose German Shepherd running around at the corner of Yorkdale and Oxford that tried to attack me and my dog as we were walking on Oxford. We were half a block away from the dog when I noticed the dog and we froze not recognizing the dog and not seeing any owner with the dog. The German Shepherd spotted us and came charging after us. I picked up my dog and started yelling at the dog to scare him off. Fortunately neighbors came out and the dog ran back to where he came from.

If someone owns this dog is please collect and secure the dog. Animal control will be called if the dog continues to stay loose.

Crime investigations NewsLetter_18 May 2018

Hello All,

During the past two weeks, there has been a rise in vehicle break-ins in the Highgate/Hope Valley communities. In the majority of these cases the vehicles were unlocked with items of value in plain sight. With that said, we have also noted and tracked at least two cases where the garages were left open and unsecure at night and the thieves gained entry to unlocked vehicles which had spare keys in the console. In both cases the vehicles were stolen and in one case the thieves made entry into the residence before stealing the car. Right now, we have no suspect descriptions. The vehicles were recovered..

Finally, there have been two catalytic convertor thefts in the 900 block of Constitution. The thefts seem to have been committed with a dull saw blade. There is no suspect vehicle description.

The weather is changing and of course, these types of crimes are on the rise. You can help us catch these guys by reporting all suspicious persons, vehicles and activities in your communities. We have investigated at least 2 burglaries where 2 to 3 black males were seen walking out of the woods adjacent to a house where a break-in had occurred and they were holding items  (possibly from the break in) but the police were not called.

You will never know how much your calls help us to solve crimes.

[Side note to all neighbors: The police would rather check out something that does not look right and they encourage us to call 911 at the time you are observing/experiencing something. DO NOT EVER CONFRONT anyone you believe is suspicious, just call the police.]


1) Secure your valuables and lock your cars. Close your garages when you turn in for the night.

2) Please call the police. If it doesn’t look normal or just does not look right…at 911. 

2) One last thing, do not leave loaded firearms in unlocked vehicles. I don’t have to tell you when the good guys come up against a stolen loaded firearm in the middle of the night.. Take it in the house and lock your car.

That’s all for now…until next time…be safe and don’t be an easy target…secure your stuff.

Sergeant K.L.. Johnson
Durham Police Department
Criminal Investigations Division
District 3
8 Consultant Place
Durham, North Carolina 27707
919-560-4583 ext 29359 (Office)
919-907-9810 (City Cell)

UED Watch Advisory: Suspicious Man on Oxford

Correction: Street was Oxford not Cornwallis.

It was reported by a neighbor that a suspicious man today lightly knocked at their residence on Oxford but on the side door and stood there for quite some time assumingly to see if anyone was home.

One of the residents was present and stood still while the person stood at the side door. They didn’t get a great look at the person but thought it was an older white male.

It was not anyone the residents knew or was familiar with.

A report via the non-emergency phone number was made to the police. If someone matching this description and activity is observed please report to 911.

Thank you.

22 Feb Weekly Crime Newsletter Alert

Hello all,

We have noticed a trend of armed robberies taking place in the Nation Av, Bedford Street, Hope Valley Road and Meadow Run communities. The suspects (3 black males) usually approach the unsuspecting victim(s) from behind in dark parking lots and brandish firearms and rob the victims of money and cellphones. The cellphones are usually recovered. Right now the offenses are occurring between the hours of 9:00 pm and 1:00 am and the suspects are described as three black males wearing hoodies travelling in a dark colored SUV or a dark colored car. We think that they are getting out of their car and walking through the neighborhood and selecting their victims. We would really like to catch up with these guys so if you see any suspicious persons or activities in your neighborhood, please DO NOT attempt to APPROACH or DETAIN them or even FOLLOW them. These guys are to be considered armed and very dangerous. If you see something, call 911 immediately and tell us what you saw. I will send more information as I get it. You will see high visibility patrols in the area until we catch them.

 TIP’S***Please park in well-lit areas, look around the parking lot before getting out of your car. Keep your key in your hand on that red button until you get to your door.

Well, until next time, be safe and call me if you need me.

Sergeant K.L. Johnson
Durham Police Department
Criminal Investigations Division
District 3
8 Consultant Place
Durham, North Carolina 27707
919-560-4583 ext 29359 (Office)

Armed robbery Friday @12:30 on Huron St. (Tuscaloossa-Lakewood neighborhood)

Hello neighbors,

At approximately 12:30 this past Friday three African American men entered an open house on the corner or WaWa and Huron of our adjacent Lakewood neighborhood.

They put a gun to the stomach of the man working in the house, took his phone, car keys and $10 cash and fled on foot toward CityWell. Nobody was injured. There may have been a burgundy SUV involved, it had been seen parked on WaWa shortly before the event with similar men. The men were wearing a red hoodie and two black sweatshirts.

Police were on the scene within 15min of the event and are still investigating.

Please be on the lookout for any suspicious behavior and call 911. Then notify your area captain. Your area captain contacts are on the contacts page of this website.


In this day and age, it is recommended that during the day, even when you are home, that you keep your front, back and side doors locked where easily accessed from a street, backyard or driveway/garage.

Keep your garage door closed when you are home as garages offer quicker access to the house when attached.

If budget allows consider installing a security camera at main entrances of your home.