Seemed like Sprinting

Greetings from all of us here at the Lytle P.D.! We had 60 calls for service this week and 71 traffic stops. Of those 71 traffic stops, 63 were issued citations, and 8 were given warnings.
We took 6 reports of property crimes, here you go: #1 – Some aspiring artists hit John Lott Park with graffiti. The pavilion sign, building, and trash can were targeted. #2 – A Wisdom Rd. resident reported that their trash can was stolen. #3 – A catalytic converter was taken from a 2015 Toyota Tacoma while it was parked at the TXDOT Park and Ride across from Lytle State Bank. #4 – A homeowner on CR 6842 reported someone was inside their home. Officers arrived and arrested a male for burglary of a habitation. #5 – A catalytic converter was taken from a 2018 Honda CRV while it was parked at O’Reilly Auto Parts on McDonald St. #6 – H.E.B. reported the theft of some trees, looks like the same vehicle from last week. The items taken (28 trees) were valued at approx. $720. These guys were pointing out what to get like they were filling a shopping list. We got better video this time……maybe we can track them down.
Officers made two arrests last week. #1 – A man was arrested for burglarizing a home (the incident on CR 6842). The homeowner caught him on camera. He was booked into the Medina Co. Jail. #2 – A man with 2 parole board warrants (possession of a firearm by felon & controlled substance possession) was sitting in front of the PD and turned himself in. He was booked into the Atascosa Co. Jail without incident.
We had a lot going on last week, this including assisting with 4 pursuits. #1 – Thursday (9/29) around noon officers assisted with a pursuit that ended just south of the city limits on IH-35. This incident involved human smuggling. #2 – Friday (9/30) around 4:30 PM officers assisted with a pursuit from the south on Main St. The vehicle (a stolen F250) turned up 2790 N, looped down Blume Dr., and then took off towards La Coste. The pursuing officers lost the vehicle. It most likely involved human smuggling, the vehicle was stolen out of SA, and so I doubt our crooks were simply returning it. #3 – Saturday (10/1) just after midnight, officers assisted with a pursuit from La Coste that ended in the LHS parking lot. It was not related to human smuggling. #4 – Saturday (10/1) about 9AM, State Troopers pursued a vehicle into town on Main St. from the south. The suspect vehicle collided with two vehicles at the intersection in front of city hall and then came to rest in front of a house next to city hall. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries. This vehicle was engaged in human smuggling. My family was just up the street conducting a garage sale in front of some old buildings we have. My wife and son saw the crash; I was inside and heard them holler for me. I sprinted down the street as the officers were taking the suspects into custody. The road was shut down for a while. I was later told by a witness that I didn’t sprint down the street; it was more like a fast walk. Well, it seemed like I was sprinting. On a positive note, my wife said sales soared at the garage sale due to the road closure.
Just be careful out there, I have never seen so many pursuits and incidents involving human smuggling in my 30+ year career as a peace officer. We are well over 100 miles from the border, so I can imagine what it is like further south. I’m not talking politics, just letting you know what is going on in our community. My advice: Be extra careful at all intersections, even if you have the right of way. If you see and or hear emergency vehicles get off the roadway as soon as possible, I suggest pulling into a parking lot or well into the grass if that is your only option.
I’m so proud of myself; I focused on a serious topic. I was going to scrap all that and rave about the Italian food place we ate at in Helotes after the garage sale.

“Slow” week

The Lytle P.D. numbers say we had a “slow” week. We had 45 calls for service and conducted 47 traffic stops. Those stops resulted in 43 citations and 4 warnings. There was not a lot to report this week.
There were no arrests last week! That is a good thing, a lot of crooks just see a night or two in jail as a chance to regroup and refocus.
We had two property crimes reported last week: #1 – A TXDOT contractor working on the IH-35 Access Rd. project had a hand-held compactor and a jackhammer taken. The loss was valued at $4,000. #2 – A person in a brown Dodge P/U lifted over $1,100 worth of trees from H.E.B. Plus. The theft occurred on Saturday morning at 3:06 AM. We usually see AC window unit thefts when it gets this hot, I guess the rising electrical cost have forced people to steal shade trees.
If you haven’t heard…. the temporary ramp closure project for IH-35 (the one by Lytle State Bank) has been delayed. We will let you know when we have new dates.
It’s never too early to mark your calendar for our annual Christmas Hayride! It will be held on Saturday, December 10th. This is one of our most popular events.
Please join us for our National Night Out event that will be held next week on Tuesday, Oct. 4. It will be at the Lytle Community Center on Priest Blvd. The times will be from 6 PM – 8 PM. There will be numerous community groups set up as well as displays of fire and police vehicles and equipment. The Lytle VFW and their Auxiliary will cook and serve hotdogs for us. We also will have a DJ! There will be plenty of drinks and snacks too. It’s a fun time to come out and meet your public safety workers. We will have gun locks to give away as well as our new 1 oz mini bottles of hand sanitizer. If nothing else, you will be able to leave with a full stomach and hand sanitizer. Plus, the joint has air conditioning and indoor plumbing.

Take the “scenic” route

Welcome to “What Happened Last Week at Lytle PD,” not exactly the nightly world news but here you go: Officers handled 51 calls for service and conducted 42 traffic stops. Those stops resulted in 37 citations and 5 warnings.
Officers made 2 arrests last week (both were booked into the Atascosa Co. Jail): #1 – Ofc. Diaz conducted a traffic stop on IH-35 Access Rd. and determined the driver had an active felony dope warrant out of Dimmit County. #2 – Ofc. Diaz received a report of an intoxicated driver. He conducted a traffic stop on FM 3175 @ the IH-35 Access Rd. and determined the suspect to be intoxicated. He was arrested for D.W.I.
We took reports of 5 property crimes: #1 – Camino Real on Benton City Road reported a flatbed trailer was stolen. #2 – The construction company doing site work at Saddle Ridge Estates reported that approx. 200 gallons of diesel fuel was taken from 3 machines, a window was broken as well. That’s a lot of diesel fuel, about $900 worth! #3 – A complainant reported $1,100 in unauthorized transactions on their bank account. Here is a hint: If you use my plan and keep your account on the verge of being overdrawn you will never have that problem. #4 – A Benton St. resident reported that an unknown female entered his residence and took one Miller Lite beer. He captured the incident on his home security system. Yes, this did really happen. I am just going to call this unknown suspect the “One Beer Bandit.” #5 – We ended the week with the report of a theft of a catalytic converter from a vehicle that was parked at the Park & Ride on IH-35 (by Lytle State Bank). The vehicle was a 2014 Camaro so it must have been a skinny thief that got under that car.
The Natalia Mustangs pulled off a victory over our hometown Pirates. Let me be the first to say, “Welcome to Lytle, the Gateway to Natalia.” There is always next year.
Now for some important news: TXDOT will close the NB Entrance Ramp to IH-35 (this is the one by Lytle State Bank). It will be closed from Sept. 21st – Oct. 4th. There will be some construction work on the ramp. A lot of people use this route to get to San Antonio; you can always take Main St. and access NB IH-35 that way. Just tell yourself you are taking the “scenic” route and maybe it won’t be so bad.
The ramp closure caused rumors to run wild. Did a few TXDOT employees have a bet over the big rivalry football game? If Lytle won, they would shut down a ramp in Natalia and if Natalia won, they would shut down a ramp in Lytle. I investigated this rumor and believe it is nonsense that popped into my head as I drafted my weekly report.

Bring out the whole family!

Lytle P.D. managed 47 calls for service last week. Officers conducted 83 traffic stops. Those traffic stops resulted in 72 citations and 11 warnings.
We only had one property crime reported last week! It was an internal theft at NAPA Auto Parts. It is always nice when people don’t get their stuff ripped off by some crook, so I really like the low theft numbers.
Officers made three arrests last week: #1 – Ofc. L. Diaz (assisted by Ofc. J. Cortez) conducted a traffic stop on McDonald St. and determined the driver to be intoxicated. He was arrested for DWI. #2 – Ofc. A. Lopez conducted a traffic stop on Adams St. and determined the driver had an active felony warrant (Agg. Assault w/a Deadly Weapon) out of Bexar Co. #3 – Ofc. J. Cortez (assisted by Sgt. G. Hanson) conducted a traffic stop on Mains St. for speeding. The female driver was arrested for DWI. All three of those were booked into the Atascosa Co. Jail in Jourdanton. It may not seem like a lot when you read it, but stopping and arresting an intoxicated driver in the middle of the night is a stressful and dangerous event. Your officers are out there keeping you safe 24/7.
Sorry for the short and boring report, so what else is going on? We are getting close to our annual National Night Out event. It will be held at the Lytle Community Center on Priest Blvd. The date is October 4, 2022, and we will start at about 6 PM. You can expect a free hotdog and something to drink. You can mingle with our officers, and we will also have some folks from the fire department as well. We welcome businesses or organizations that want to set up too. Just call or email so I can reserve a table for your group. In addition to a free hotdog, you will score some other free stuff. Bring out the whole family! Everyone is welcome, even if you don’t like the “police” I am sure you will like a free hotdog.

A slow week, on paper

When you look at the call volume, only 47 calls, it might appear it was a slow week. It was a busy one with 9 reported property crimes, more on that later. Officers conducted 71 traffic stops which resulted in 63 citations and 8 warnings.
Let’s get the arrest activity out of the way, we had 4 arrests last week. Here we go with my simple numbering system to help me from getting confused: #1 – The detergent theft lady from last week was located by Ofc. D. Lopez, she was given a citation and released. #2 – Ofc. Pena conducted a traffic stop on Main Street and found the driver to be intoxicated. He was booked into the Atascosa Co. Jail. #3 – Ofc. A. Lopez responded to a disturbance on N. Prairie St. A male was arrested for assault causing bodily injury (family violence) and booked into the jail in Jourdanton. #4 – Ofc. Pena observed a single vehicle accident and arrested the driver for DWI, he too was checked into the jail in Jourdanton.
Property crimes reported last week: #1 – A rear door to a home under construction on Lonesome Dove was taken. #2 – A laptop valued at $1,000 was taken from a vehicle parked at the H.E.B. Plus. #3 – A complainant reported that an unknown male took a folder full of personal papers from her unlocked vehicle, this occurred at the Dollar General. #4 – A light blue 3-wheel bicycle was stolen from a residence on Oak St. #5 – A complainant reported that an unknown person entered their business on Main St. and took approx. $60 worth of misc. brass fittings. They slid under a garage door that was left just barely open. #6 – A resident on Huckleberry Dr. reported the theft of a trash can. #7 – Criminal mischief was reported at the IH-35 Park & Ride, a truck tractor was damaged in an attempted break-in. #8 – On Sunday evening (8/21) a complainant reported that his 2020 Dodge Ram Rebel p/u was stolen while parked in the 15000 Blk. of Main St. He had left it in a parking lot for a 24-hour period and the keys were left inside. #9 – Later that evening officers took a report of a 2003 Ford F250 taken from the H.E.B. Plus parking lot. It was recovered several hours later by S.A.P.D.  Now, we have a lot of investigating to do.
I took three days of leave and headed east with the family. The first stop was Livingston/Onalaska to spend a night with my wife’s sister and her family. We dropped off a couple of the kids and headed to Monroe, La. for a conference my wife and oldest daughter wanted to attend. I was mostly along for the trip to take care of the baby. After a couple of nights there we headed back to pick up the kids. We slid into Lytle on Monday night; I was 30 minutes late to the city council meeting. As usual, I did a good bit of eating at good places. I can’t resist touching on a few high points:  The Main St. Café in Carthage (TX): Catfish & frog legs plate lunch, fried okra, and coleslaw. (I opted out of the frog legs and got extra catfish). Don Chuy Mexican Grill (West Monroe, La.) – The chips and salsa. The Ranch House Café (Leesville, La.) – The crawfish etouffee and chocolate chip cookies. Let’s end this out with cornbread from 3rd On Main Kitchen in downtown Bryan (TX). On a side note, to this already side note, downtown Bryan has really been fixed up since I was a kid there in the early 80s, other than Woolworths and TSO there wasn’t much reason to go downtown.
Now back to something official. I testified in district court early last week over in Jourdanton at the Justice Center. I have said before that place is lovely. I just found out the whole second floor is not being used and hasn’t been built out. I can’t believe somebody hasn’t cut a backroom deal to fill that place up with those 8-Liner gambling machines. The cops would never suspect an illegal casino on the second floor of the justice center. All the traffic at all hours of the night could be attributed to the courts running around the clock to catch up from a COVID backlog.

55 service calls, 104 traffic stops

For the week ending August 14, 2022, …. Officers handled 55 calls for service and conducted 104 traffic stops. Those stops resulted in 94 citations and 10 warnings. 

     We only had one arrest last week. A traffic stop on Railroad St. resulted in the arrest of a female with 3 active felony warrants out of Atascosa Co. She was booked into the Atascosa Co. Jail.

     Property Crimes, 3 of them:  #1 – We had a shoplifting call at H.E.B. Plus, and then the crooks committed a vehicle burglary (#2) before they left the parking lot. A couple of males with purple, green, and blue hair took about $27 in items from the store. All our witnesses and the store camera confirmed the hair color, otherwise, I would have thought our witness was stoned. Our thieves decided to remove a couple of items from the bed of a pickup before they took off, they got a duffle bag full of tools and a weed eater. Our multi-color hair dudes were in a Ford Fiesta, and they couldn’t fit the weed eater in their small car, so they just dumped it in the parking lot. A witness returned it to the bed of the pickup. So, we learned today that if you drive a small vehicle you may save on gas but, it will limit what you can steal. #3 – A female with a small child left the store without paying for 4 big containers of laundry detergent ($70 value). We think we have her identified. Everybody uses laundry detergent and it’s expensive, so it is easy to sell or trade. A lot of that stolen product ends up at flea markets, I guess some of it gets traded for dope too.

     School is back in session! Please watch out for all the kids and expect delays around the school in the morning and during the afternoon release. Feel free to report any hazardous situations to us. 

     At the last city council meeting our City Administrator, Matt Dear, was given a supervisory role over all the department heads. Matt is now my boss, and I was looking for a way to commemorate this event. I was going to write a song, but I took a shortcut. I just took the theme song from “Charles in Charge,” one of my favorite 80s sitcoms, and replaced “Charles” with “Matt”. It does get a little creepy in a few spots. If you don’t know it, search it on YouTube …. it’s catchy, you might just be humming the tune all day. Perhaps, all the department heads could perform it at our city Christmas party? 

-Richey

We got through last week with only 39 calls for service! Officers conducted 69 traffic stops. Of those stops, 63 were citations and 6 were warnings.
There was only one person arrested last week. Ofc. L. Diaz conducted a traffic stop on Main St. and determined the driver had an active warrant out of Bexar Co. for Driving While License Invalid. The suspect was booked into the Atascosa Co. Jail.
There were two property crimes reported. #1 – A complainant called the PD to report that they lost a money clip with $134 while at the H.E.B. Plus. With current prices, you could almost fill up one of those red, handheld baskets with $134. #2 – A hotel customer reported that someone tried to break into his pickup, they were unsuccessful but did damage the door handle. That means it was a rookie car burglar, perhaps in the initial stages of training.
Also in the news……Officers recovered a 2004 Kenworth truck that was stolen in Carrizo Springs. It was dumped in a field near Lytle State Bank. In another incident officers recovered a set of stolen license plates; they had been reported stolen to Bexar Co.
In the early morning hours (2:22 AM) of Monday, August 8, officers S. Pena and J. Cortez responded to a report of shots fired at a residence in the 14700 blk of Railroad St. Officers arrived and determined that none of the occupants were injured. It is believed that at least 6 rounds were fired from a handgun. This does not appear to be a random incident and the case is under investigation.
I, along with Ofc. D. Lopez and Cpl. D. Robison, attended Lytle ISD’s annual convocation. We set up a booth and gave out freebies to the staff of Lytle ISD. There was a huge turnout of booths from local organizations and businesses. I made myself available for photos so they could remember the special occasion. I must admit, I didn’t even know the definition of convocation until this guy named Clouser from the Lytle VFW told me, and I think his wife told him. I will tell you there was an abundance of positive energy among all those staff members. They will need all that energy once the kids start back this week. I would think we have a solid school system, if not I can’t imagine why all these subdivisions are being developed here. Having a cool Chief of Police can only go so far.
On a personal note…. I took off last Tuesday and headed down to Rockport with the family for a quick beach outing. We had a great lunch in Sinton at the Back Street Café. I had hoped it would be a Back Street Boys-themed restaurant, but they didn’t have a single poster up. What they did have was complimentary beans and cornbread, a staple for me as a young child growing up in the Free State of Van Zandt.
The kids will be back in school starting this Thursday! So, more traffic and more congestion. I ask everyone to be patient, the first few days are rough, but it gets “less rough” as the year goes on. You might see an increased police presence around the schools, don’t be alarmed. Officers are just trying to keep our school community safe. When the weather cools off, we might even get out of our patrol cars and walk around.

Full Brain Power

Our call volume headed back up a little this week. Officers handled 57 calls for service and conducted 68 traffic stops. Those 68 stops resulted in 59 citations and 9 warnings.
There is a lot of stuff to steal around here, but we only had one property crime reported. A man walked out of H.E.B. Plus with about $30 worth of alcohol. He took off into the woods behind the store. Ofc. Luis Diaz tracked him a good bit until he lost him. As hot as it is I would have probably given up and jumped in the back of the air-conditioned patrol car.
Officers arrested two people last week, well we actually arrested one person once and another fellow we arrested twice. The first arrest occurred on Wisdom Road @ Norvell St. Officers stopped a bicyclist for not having lights on his bike. The peddler had an active felony warrant out of Bexar Co. for credit/debit card abuse. The second arrest occurred at a domestic disturbance on Bruce St. The suspect was booked on a charge of assault causing bodily injury to a family member, this occurred on July 31. The same suspect participated in another incident that occurred on July 27 and officers were working to get warrants (4) on that situation. The warrants were obtained, and the suspect was served while he was still in jail. Those charges include a felony of endangering a child.
Overall, it wasn’t that busy of a week. It was nice because we could spend some time catching up on other cases.
We had about 3 pursuits from the south that either came into town or terminated just south of us. On one occasion, the vehicle came to a stop behind TXN Bank, and the occupants fled on foot. Another one ended just short of the city and 20 unauthorized immigrants fled on foot. Another pursuit from Frio Co. fizzled out before they got here. There is a genuine problem with human smuggling no doubt.
My primary focus is keeping Lytle safe, and my mind is always looking for ideas. Our Mayor, Ruben Gonzalez, beat me to it last week. He came up with the idea of using signs to deter the pursuits. We could have a “flipper” on them that would change the signs to make it appear you are headed south. When officers are notified of a pursuit, they open an app on their phone and remotely “flip” the signs. Those being pursued think they are headed in the wrong direction and turn around, thereby avoiding our city. I am sure that TXDOT would have issues with it, but I thought it was a clever idea. In conclusion, citizens should rest easy knowing that they have the full brain power of the Mayor and me working 24/7 365 days a year on their behalf.

Lost and Found: Chicken and Handguns

Another week with not too many calls, that sure is nice. Officers handled 47 calls for service and conducted 88 traffic stops. Those 88 stops resulted in 79 citations and 9 warnings.
Officers made one arrest last week. Sgt. Hanson and Ofc. Pena responded to a domestic disturbance on N. Benton St. and arrested a male for assault causing bodily injury to a family member.
Only three property crimes were reported to us. #1 – H.E.B. Plus reported a theft that occurred on a prior day. An unknown female was observed on camera leaving the store with $9 worth of unpaid merchandise. All I can say is that they have some rather good cameras up there, $9 doesn’t buy much these days …. maybe you could hide that in the palm of your hand. # 2 – H.E.B. Plus reported another theft, a male left the store with a rotisserie chicken and an adult beverage. I’m not sure which flavor rotisserie chicken he got but if I were going to steal one it would be the lemon pepper, it’s good. #3 – A complainant reported that somebody got their new debit card and set up a pin and “went to town”. They charged about $600 before the card was shut down.
In another case, a complainant who reported his handgun as stolen back in 2020 said he found it. We removed it from the system as stolen. I misplace stuff all the time, never done that with a gun though. In another case: A gentleman found a wallet and turned it into the PD, it was full of cash. I thanked him and told him that most people take the cash out before they turn it in. We were able to locate the owner and reunite him with his wallet and cash within the hour.
Mark your calendars for the evening of Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022. We will be hosting our first National Night Out event since 2019. The event will be held at the Lytle Community Center, so the heat or rain won’t ruin our event. If your group or business is interested in setting up a booth, please email me. I am sure we will be providing food, drinks, and snacks. It should be a fun night. I would have a celebrity show up, but I don’t have those kinds of connections.

A Little Reprieve

We got a little reprieve last week; we only had 38 calls for service! Officers had some extra time on their hands and conducted 110 traffic stops. Of those traffic stops, 94 resulted in a citation and 16 were warnings.
There is not much to report this week, so brace yourself for boredom. We only had one property crime: #1 – The Animal Control Director reported a possible burglary at Diamond S Buildings (19650 IH-35 Access Rd.). We discovered that someone pushed out a window AC unit and made entry. The owner reported 2 Takamine acoustic guitars were missing; they were valued at $350 each. Somewhere, some crooks are strumming on those guitars. If you happened to hear them, give us a call.
Officers made two arrests this past week: #1 – Officer S. Pena observed a Hondo ATV being operated on a public roadway. He attempted to make a traffic stop but the ATV rider opted to “run.” A pursuit ensued and with the help of Ofc. J. Cortez and ACSO Deputy E. Lopez the suspect was taken into custody. He was booked on a felony charge of evading arrests. #2 – Officer J. Cortez (assisted by Ofc. Pena) conducted a traffic stop on Main St. at Bank. A female was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia and a handgun was seized (the serial number had been altered). More charges are pending.
What else is happening around town? To put it simply; lots of growth. The city has three new subdivisions in various stages. Saddle Ridge Estates (which got out of the gate first) is building strong, by Halloween that will be some prime “Trick or Treat” territory.
The 7-Eleven / Stripes is getting close to completion. They were hoping to open in early August, but it looks like it will be a little later. The old Days Inn (originally the El Cid) hotel is long gone, replaced by fuel pumps and Slurpee machines.
I can’t believe it, but school starts in less than a month! August 11th will be the first day back for students at Lytle I.S.D. This year, like all the years in the past, the Lytle P.D. will do our part to get this school year started on a good note. Please take notice of the school zones and be understanding of the heavy congestion that comes along with the first few days of school. After the first few days it becomes just moderate congestion.