True Crime #16


John Paul Leonard is tired of the crime plaguing his neighborhood.

Over the years, many homes in his neighborhood have been vandalized, burglarized, had windows smashed, and had cars broken into.

Just last year, Leonard’s home on Westmoreland was trashed and the dog he adopted was found dead in the back yard. In the latest incident of criminal mischief, his house was targeted by a paintball gun, and the vandals also shot up his new truck.

“It was a pink color,” Leonard says. “They shot at my windows and I still haven’t had the time to clean up the house.”

Luckily, the paint was water-based, and Leonard says the recent ice storm managed to remove a lot of the paint. But pink paint is still affixed to one of his gables.

Leonard has returned to college to finish his education and because of past experiences, he has rules about anyone coming over unannounced.

“Before my house was broken into, someone would bang on my door at night,” Leonard says. “They did this about four times. I won’t answer my door because I’ve told my friends to call before they come over.”

He tries to make his home look nice, but when a repairman came over to fix a few things, he told Leonard that several other houses up and down the street have been victims of crime. Leonard says that he likes his Tudor-style house and refuses to put bars on his windows.

Sr. Cpl Herb Ebsen of the Dallas police said this case isn’t unusual, and it might have to do with feuding kids.

“I lived in the safest city in Texas,” Ebsen says. “But once I found the bad side of kids, they started [messing] with me. I’m not blaming the victim in this case, but he might have gotten crossways with some kids, and they tend to make life miserable.

“These kids go around and start doing acts of vandalism,” Ebsen says.  “They have no idea that if they’re caught they’ll go to jail. They just don’t think about it.”


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