Three people were arrested Dec. 21 in connection with the shooting of a 48-year-old Lovers Lane East neighborhood resident, as well as a murder and 40 area home burglaries in North and East Dallas.

Dallas police say those arrested were part of the so-called “phone line gang”, which had conducted a crime spree in East Dallas, Lake Highlands and North Dallas that began in October, but intensified following Thanksgiving. At Advocate press time (Dec. 22), police said they planned further arrests.

The wounded man, who lives in the 6100 block of Highgate, told police he heard people on the roof of his house about 8:30 p.m. Dec. 3. While he retrieved his gun and walked to the back of his house, an intruder shot him through a sliding glass door.

Although struck on the lower right side of his body, the man escapted to the house of a neighbor, who called the police.

But as the victim was receiving treatment at a local hospital, the burglars returned to the unguarded house, started the wounded homeowner’s car and drove it through the garage wall into the kitchen. Then, they vandalized the house and stole several large items.

At least one more burglary occurred in the neighborhood that day, and six similar offenses occurred during the previous several weeks, says Lovers Lane East Crime Watch co-chair Reena Morris.

The intruders were particularly frightening to residents because they typically worked at night, cutting the phone lines to deactivate alarm systems prior to entering homes. They also were apparently not afraid to confront their victims. In one incident, they shot and killed an 89-year-old man.

“We were reactivating our crime watch group, and it couldn’t have come at a bettert ime,” Morris said.

A 30-person Dallas police task force cracked the burglary ring.

Next month, the Advocate will report further on the efforts of local crime watch groups to defeat crime in our neighborhoods. If you have information you believe would be of interest to Advocate readers regarding crime watch groups, please call us at 341-3353.

The articles will highlight successful crime watch organizations and explain how to establish an effective group.

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