True crime: Theft of flagpole lights

The lights were out — and gone.

The lights were out — and gone.

The Victim: Sidney Womack
The Crime: Theft
Date: Wednesday, Sept. 7
Time: Between 9 p.m. (Sept. 7) and 5 p.m. (Sept. 8)
Location: 2400 block of 10th

As a Vietnam veteran who was disabled during his Army service, Oak Cliff’s Sidney Womack takes pride in his country and service, and he likes to show it. He has a flagpole in front of his home to fly Old Glory, and has solar lights surrounding the pole to keep it illuminated at night. A smaller flagpole is attached to the front of his home, which is also lit up by solar lights.

Unfortunately, someone recently stole some of his lights and damaged the flagpole attached to his home.

“They didn’t steal all of them. They stole the lights that lit up the American flag in front of the house,” he says.
The thief made off with five lights valued at about $40 and then vandalized the flagpole attached to Womack’s home.
“They also broke the flagpole off the house,” he says. “They pulled it straight down.”

Womack believes the crime may be the result of kids in the neighborhood just walking by, but says crimes like this and the recent theft of new computers at a Catholic school in the area have left him frustrated.

“These are just senseless things,” he says. “I just don’t want people tearing things up like they did at my house.”
Despite the crime, Womack will not be deterred. He has replaced the flagpole and lights, and the red, white and blue is once again flying and lit up at night.

Dallas Police Lt. Gil Garza of the Southwest Patrol Division says this type of vandalism is not common.

“To say kids were involved in this is a possibility,” he says. “Theft is likely as the suspect could have taken it for personal use or resale.”

He warns residents that the area is experiencing more and more thefts coinciding with the rising price of metals.

“We are seeing offenses in the theft of copper metal. Copper metal is being taken mostly from air conditioning units. There is also a trend of catalytic converters being stolen from vehicles for the various metals encased inside the engine part. Measures are being introduced to curtail this type of theft.”

43

Number of thefts, forgeries and robberies that occurred at the Walmart on Cockrell Hill in one month

4

Number of people who were violently robbed at the Davis and Hampton intersection

2

Number of auto thefts that happened near Methodist hospital

Source: Dallas Police Department crime statistics for Sept. 12-Oct. 12


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