The San Angelo Police Department has recently launched a Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) program, which will be comprised of newly acquired Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (sUAV), or drones.
The Departments newly formed unit can deploy officers who have specialized training in sUAS operation and hold Part 107 certificates through the Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates the commercial use of drones. The Unit’s missions will include video and photographic documentation of crime and accident scenes, searches in large or inaccessible locations, HAZMAT incidents, critical incident support, assistance to fire suppression efforts, disaster area damage assessments, and search and rescue operations. The Unit has already utilized the sUAS on-site at crash scenes, crime scenes, and to search for missing persons.
During critical incidents, the sUAS Unit will provide real-time observation of the scene to Incident Commanders, while keeping the public and first responders at a safe distance if necessary. Assistance in large, inaccessible areas for Search and Rescue operations will be quicker, safer, and less time-consuming. Aerial documentation of crime and accident scenes offers perspectives that are not able to be obtained from ground sources and will assist with presentations of evidence in court settings.
In addition, the use of the sUAS along with mapping software will allow accurate documentation of accident scenes and would significantly reduce the length of time streets are closed following a fatality.
In recent years, advances in sUAS technology have made it possible for smaller public safety operations to utilize air support which was previously limited to larger departments who could afford the expense of manned aircraft. Across the country, there are more than 900 state and local police, fire and emergency units with UAVs.
April 24, 2019 — In an effort to better serve the public, San Angelo Public Safety Communications has launched an information line for citizens that have questions about how to get a police report, need to speak with an officer, speak with a detective, pass on information to crime stoppers, or contact the municipal court.
The new information line, which navigates callers through a brief phone tree, is expected to help diminish the number of general information calls that are being placed to the dispatch center — erroneous calls that take time away from emergency services dispatches that need to remain available to receive emergency and non-emergency calls for police, fire, and EMS service. The Information Line number, 325-657-4411, was chosen because it has 411 as the last three digits, which most people recognize as a general information number.
There are two versions of the information line; Normal Business Hours and After-hours. The entire phone tree for business hours and after-hours is available in English and Spanish.
Normal business hours consist of the following: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., M-F
1. Speak with an officer
2. Speak with dispatch
3. Speak with Records
4. Speak with CID
5. Speak with Municipal Court
6. Speak with Crime Stoppers
After-hours consists of the following: 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 a.m., M-F, weekends, and holidays.
1. Speak with Dispatch
2. Leave a message with CID
3. Leave a message with Crime Stoppers
4. Online Services
At approximately 11:20 a.m. on Thursday, April 18, 2019, Detectives with the San Angelo Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division responded to an apartment complex located at 1810 South Fillmore for the report of a burglary in progress where the suspects were attempting to gain entry through a window.
Upon their arrival, the Detectives located the suspects attempting to flee in a black passenger car. The suspects were taken into custody at gunpoint and found to be in possession of three firearms and suspected Methamphetamine. One of the firearms was reported stolen in a recent unrelated burglary. The men were identified as 20-year-old Brian Garcia and 18-year-old Jacob Martinez. Garcia was arrested for Burglary of Habitation Intend Other Felony and First Degree Felony Manufacture Delivery of Controlled Substance Penalty Group 1. Martinez was charged with Burglary of Habitation Intend Other Felony and Possession of Prohibited Weapon.
Pursuant to the follow up investigation, the Detectives developed probable cause to believe Garcia and Martinez were involved with the April 2, 2019 murder of Kristian Rose.
In the hours following their arrests, the Criminal Investigations Division applied for Search Warrants for residences located in the 400 block of Angelo Boulevard and the 2400 block of North Lillie Street.
Following the execution of both warrants, the Criminal Investigations Division developed probable cause to obtain warrants of arrest for Garcia and Martinez for the charge of Murder.
Additional charges are pending the outcome of this ongoing investigation.
April 17, 2019 — The Nationwide wave of Social Security imposter scams has reached Tom Green County.
Claiming to be a government authority is a tried and true way that scammers trick people, often senior citizens, into sending money. Among the most common government imposters have been scammers pretending to be agents from the IRS – until now.
In the past few months, the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network database has seen Social Security Administration (SSA) imposter reports skyrocket while reports of IRS imposters have declined sharply. In other words, the SSA scam is the new IRS scam. Locally, two senior victims were scammed out of $9K and $2K.
The Inspector General of Social Security, Gail S. Ennis, is warning citizens about a caller-ID “spoofing” scheme misusing the Social Security Administration (SSA) Office of the Inspector General’s (OIG) Fraud Hotline phone number. The OIG has received recent reports of phone calls displaying the Fraud Hotline number on a caller-ID screen. This is a scam; OIG employees do not place outgoing calls from the Fraud Hotline 800 number. Citizens should not engage with these calls, provide personal information, or send money to the caller via pre-paid gift or Visa cards.
How the scam works:
These scammers often use robocalls to reach people, and the message is hard to ignore. SSA imposters tell you your Social Security number has been “suspended” because of suspicious activity, or because it’s been involved in a crime. You may be told to “press 1” to speak to a government “support representative” for help reactivating your Social Security number. With such deception, these scammers are good at convincing people to give up their Social Security numbers and other personal information. They ask you to confirm your Social Security number, or they may say you need to withdraw money from the bank and to store it on gift cards or in other unusual ways for “safekeeping.” You may be told your accounts will be seized or frozen if you don’t act quickly.
The SSA will not contact you out of the blue and they will never call to threaten your benefits or tell you to wire money, send cash, or put money on gift cards. Anyone who tells you to do those things is a scammer. Every time. You can always call the SSA directly at 1-800-772-1213 to find out if SSA is really trying to reach you and why.
If you receive a suspicious call from someone alleging to be from SSA or OIG, you should report that information to the OIG online at https://oig.ssa.gov/report or by calling (800) 269-0271, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern Time. You can also report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission through a new site specific to Social Security scams: https://identitytheft.gov/ssa
April 16, 2019 — Earlier today, the San Angelo Police Department’s Street Crimes Division directed a traffic stop on a Honda Accord that was occupied by a wanted subject in the 700 block of Macann Street.
During the stop, Officers located 33-year-old Gabriel Lopez, who was wanted on warrants of arrest for Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle and Going Off Bond for Criminal Trespass of a Habitation/Shelter/Superfund/Infrastructure. The driver, identified as 41-year-old Robert Perez, was wanted for Parole Violation.
Pursuant to the field investigation, Street Crimes Division Investigators located and seized approximately thirty-four (34) grams of suspected Methamphetamine along with narcotic distribution paraphernalia.
The pair were arrested for their warrants and Lopez was additionally charged with First Degree Felony Manufacture Delivery of Controlled Substance Penalty Group 1.
The Department’s Patrol Division assisted with today’s operation.