Community holds meeting to discuss rash of crimes

Published 8:16 pm Wednesday, June 14, 2017

People that live in the Five Points community shared concerns about a group of young men terrorizing their community with law enforcement officers Tuesday night.

Dallas County Sheriff Harris Huffman said around 60 people showed up to the community meeting to voice their concerns at the old Five Points Elementary School.

“They’ve got legitimate complaints,” Huffman said Wednesday. “There are some young individuals down there that are terrorizing the older folks that live in the Five Points area.”

Email newsletter signup

Huffman said himself, Captain Mike Granthum, Sgt. Goings and two deputies attended the meeting from the department. Dallas County District Attorney Michael Jackson and District Judge Bob Armstrong were also there.

Huffman said citizens described some of the incidents that have been ongoing for around six months.

“They’ve had a couple of cars set on fire, there have been drive-by shootings, there has been burglaries, there’s been breaking and entering of autos. Basically, just total disrespect for the citizens that live in that area,” he said.

Citizens were able to identify several suspects allegedly responsible for the mentioned crimes.

“As of last night we know who all of the individuals are and the approximate ages. I think we got a pickup order on one of them today, and hopefully looking at making some arrests pretty soon,” Huffman said.

The suspects range in age from 15 to 23 years old.

“These are individuals that we’re looking at, and hopefully, we’ll be able to get all of them off the street because I’ve got a place for them,” Huffman said.

Huffman said the department is stepping up patrols in the area to try to catch some of them in the act. He also encourages residents to report any crimes or suspicious activity going on, so there can be an official report.

“We do the enforcement part, but the people that live in that community down there are the intelligence part. They see what’s going on. They hear what’s going on. They’ve been told what’s going on,” Huffman said.

“Tell us. Let us weed through what is useless and what we can use.”

Huffman explained what deputies can and can’t do, like not being able to make an arrest for a crime they didn’t see happen.

“I think that they realize that unless we actually witness a crime, the only way we can make an arrest is one, being an investigation and two, having eye witnesses that sign a complaint, and therefore be willing to testify in court,” he said.

Huffman also cleared up a misconception about criminals just being let out of jail.

“A lot of them were under the impression of we make an arrest, we put them in jail, they get a bond and we let them out. Now, they know exactly how it works,” he said.

“The biggest problem we’re having is when an arrest is made and the individual is put in jail … these bonding companies can actually get them out with a payment plan. In some particular cases, they’ll pay them $200 a week or $200 a month until they can reach their 8-10 percent of whatever their bonds is, and of course that’s got a lot them down there upset.”

Huffman said arrests could be made as early as next week and encouraged anyone with complaints to contact the sheriff’s department at (334) 874-2530.