Dallas Police hope the Starlight program will help deter and catch more criminals but results from the first two months of the program are mixed.
Friday police released video from a Starlight camera at the Texaco Store on Ferguson Road near Interstate 635/LBJ Freeway. A flashing blue light that marks the store as a Starlight location did not stop the suspect from throwing a rock through the front door glass, climbing inside and taking lottery tickets.
Police Chief U. Renee Hall launched the Starlight program at that store on November 4, 2019.
She spoke about the program this week in an interview with NBC 5's sister station Telemundo 39.
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“As we’re able to leverage our technology and put cameras all around this city, that is going to help us be able to see that criminal element,” Hall said. “No criminal wants to be caught on camera.”
In addition to the Ferguson Road Texaco store, 7-Eleven stores on East Ledbetter Drive at Bonnie View Road and Lemmon Avenue at Central Expressway were the initial three Starlight locations.
Starlight cameras are monitored at police headquarters in the Fusion Center where Lieutenant Jim Lewis is a supervisor.
Lewis said the goal is to reduce crime.
“Both from a proactive stand point, keeping the crime from happening in the first place, and then also, increasing our ability to investigate the offenses that do occur there,” Lewis said. “At every one of those locations we have in the last two months seen amazing reductions already, with Ferguson being the most impressive reductions that we’ve seen.”
Records show just four calls to Dallas Police since Nov. 4, including the Thursday morning break in. A manager at the Ferguson Texaco said Friday that crime has decreased.
Results were less impressive at the two 7-Eleven stores.
At the Ledbetter location, records show 19 calls to police since Nov. 4, including a suspect who got behind the counter and tried to strangle the clerk.
At the Lemmon Avenue 7-Eleven, police records show 15 calls to police in the same period.
The records show five people were arrested at the Ledbetter store, and two each at Lemmon Avenue and Ferguson Road.
No suspect was in custody Friday, despite the video recording from the Ferguson Road Texaco.
The video showed the suspect leaving in a four-door white Toyota Corolla with a paper tag on the back.
Anyone with information was asked to call Detective Stephen Winkler at 214-671-0165 anyone has information that may help identify the suspect, contact Detective Winkler, or email: Stephen.Winkler@dpd.ci.dallas.tx.us.