Oak Cliff true crime

The Victim: David Wilkinson
The Crime: Theft
Date: Thursday, Jan. 6
Time: Between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.
Location: 200 block of Hampton

David Wilkinson’s Kessler Plaza home has some historic appeal. The house was built in 1942, and the antique stove was probably original to the home.

Despite the stove’s kitschy appeal, Wilkinson was in need of something new. He recently found a replacement, and during installation of the new stove, the antique was lugged to the side of his home behind some hedges.

“Someone drove up in a pickup truck and stole it,” Wilkinson says.

Stealing the antique stove was no easy feat — it weighed more than 300 pounds. A neighbor quickly took down the truck’s license plate number after witnessing the theft, and called police.

After the police had come and gone, Wilkinson says he was a bit disappointed that the officers did not take more action, especially with a witness seeing the theft and having the license number. Wilkinson says the officer told him the thief would probably say he thought it was trash.

“It was like they were defending the person who took it,” he says. “The neighbor said they had a truck full of stuff. They had probably been stealing stuff all day. I was more ticked off about the police than the theft.”

Wilkinson says the stove might still be useful if someone put a little work into fixing it.

“I was actually going to give it to the Salvation Army,” he says. “It’s an antique and probably at least worth about $500. It was kind of cool, but needed to be reworked.”

Dallas Police Deputy Chief Vernon Hale of the Southwest Patrol Division says police are working to identify the thief in the case. He notes that police often need more than just a license plate number, and witnesses must really be able to identify the suspect.

“Even if it was a mistake, it should not deter us from attempting to get the owner’s property back,” Hale says of the investigation. “As of this morning, they had identified a possible driver from past records, but still had to find out if the witness can identify him in a lineup.”

Hale says this is the exact scenario Dallas police are seeking in 2011 — community members staying vigilant and helping police when possible. He says the investigation in this case will continue and will hopefully lead to an arrest.

“The police cannot do it alone,” Hale says. “We need the citizens to be the eyes and ears that provide actionable community intelligence such as this — good descriptions and license plate numbers. Action may or may not be as quick as one prefers, but we will continue to work hard to improve.”

10

Number of criminal mischief incidents that happened over a two-day period in February, involving objects being thrown through residents’ windows at apartments in the 2400 block of Bahama

5

People assaulted a man while he was walking his dog in the 1400 block of Westmont; After beating him with a wooden club, the Y stole only a scrap piece of paper from the man’s pocket, possibly believing it was cash, police say

12:59 a.m.

Time on Feb. 8 when a suspect broke into Kecho’s Barber Shop on North Westmoreland and stole a $900 plasma screen TV, causing $150 worth of damage to the front door


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