Beware of burglars posing as utility workers; alert seniors

Crime Alert from David Tilley of the Plano Police Department:

Recently, there have been some reported “distraction” type burglaries taking place in our city. Most of the victims targeted have been elderly so I want to get this out to each of you and ask that you be aware and pass along the information to others who you think could be victimized by this technique.

This is how it works: Distraction burglary is a crime in which elderly persons are often the targets. The perpetrator seeks to draw a resident out of the house on a pretext. While the resident is occupied, an accomplice enters the home and picks up valuables such as money and jewelry. Thieves may also pick up papers with the intent of committing identity theft.

In a variation, the accomplice enters the dwelling by a second door while the resident is occupied at the other door. This type of burglary is also known as ruse burglary, imposter burglary, and diversion burglary.

Here is an example of recent ones we have had reported: Suspects make contact with victim. Suspect No. 1 advises he works for a company and they need to look at something in the yard. Our cases were reported as being represented as a TXU worker needing to look at trees while the other was Oncor. While Suspect No. 1 distracts the homeowner by talking to them, Suspect No. 2 enters into the home and commits the burglary.

The suspects in each of our cases were described as Hispanic males and the vehicle was a light colored sedan.

Be careful and again, pass this along to your elderly friends and neighbors.

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Plano Police Report – Child on way home from school offered candy by two suspects in light blue minivan

Plano Police are reporting that a child walking home from Hendrick Middle School  noticed a light blue minivan following him. The vehicle pulled up and someone inside asked the child if he wanted a ride home, and the child said, “No”. The driver then passed by and made a U-turn and drove back toward the child and asked again if he wanted a ride and offered him candy. The child walked away and then made his parent aware of the incident after arriving home.

Police said two suspects were inside the vehicle. One suspect was described as a white male teenager and the other an Asian male teenager. Police said there have been no other reports like this incident.

Plano Police said they investigated a similar incident a few years back near Rice Middle School and were able to identify the suspects. It turned out to also be teenagers playing a prank to try and scare the child.

Plano Police ask residents to be aware and make sure your kids know what to do when approached by a stranger and to report any incident like this, just as this child did. In addition, if you know of or have a teenager that drives a vehicle matching this description, please call the police so they can look into it. Thanks for your assistance.

Viewpoint: Put the brakes on bigger trucks

By Sheriff Terry Box of Collin County TX

Special interests in Washington, D.C., have pushed for years for longer and heavier tractor-trailers onto our highways. While trucks play a vital role for our state’s economy, we as law enforcement leaders know that bigger trucks would add new dangers to our roads. I have consistently opposed these increases, and I need your help to stop them from operating on Texas highways.

Several bills debated last year in Congress would have increased the size and weight of trucks. One bill would have increased the national truck weight limit from 80,000 pounds to 91,000 pounds, and other legislation called for 91-foot long double-trailer trucks.

Members of Congress clearly listened to their constituents back home: Both of these provisions were rejected with bipartisan support. Proponents of bigger trucks, however, show no signs of backing down in 2016. A Colorado congressman introduced a bill earlier this year that calls for the same longer double-trailer trucks that were just defeated in 2015. While proponents continue to push for bigger trucks, polls show that voters overwhelmingly oppose them.

In fact, a 2015 poll found that 76 percent of respondents opposed longer and heavier trucks. Even a U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) study released in 2015 recommended that Congress reject longer and heavier trucks. In the study, USDOT published several alarming findings.

Regarding heavier trucks, it found in limited state testing that trucks weighing up to 91,000 pounds have 47 percent higher crash rates, and trucks weighing up to 97,000 pounds have 99 to 400 percent higher crash rates. Regarding longer trucks, it found that longer double trailers needed at least 22 additional feet to stop compared to twin-trailer trucks on the road today.

As a motorist, I find these statistics disturbing. As a law enforcement officer, my experience tells me that the story on bigger trucks is even more serious. Tractor-trailers can have worn brakes, defective equipment, and uneven loadings—these are all factors that make a truck more dangerous. Throwing additional weight and length into the mix means a recipe for disaster.

Protecting the safety of the motoring public is one of our top priorities as law enforcement leaders, especially considering that our families share these roads, not to mention that our law enforcement colleagues would be at greater risk on roadsides as they conduct their work. We had 14,485 large-truck crashes in 2014, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Even more, 576 people lost their lives in large-truck crashes statewide in 2014, and 8,443 people sustained injuries.

Longer or heavier trucks would only mean further endangering our state’s motorists. Lobbyists in Austin are urging the Texas Legislature to allow heavier trucks on our State and local roads.

This proposal would create serious safety issues and further endanger Texas Motorists. With Congress rejecting heavier trucks on Interstates, approving this proposal in Texas would mean the heaviest trucks would operate off of the Interstates and on State roads, through our towns and communities.

Join with me in halting the tide of longer and heavier trucks. Please write or call our U.S. Senators and U.S. House Representative, as well as, your State Senator and State Representative and let them know you oppose bigger tractor-trailers on Texas highways.

Contact Rick Cowan at (214) 491-7454 or rcowan@cabt.org  to learn how you can voice your opposition to bigger trucks. You can also connect with CABT by visiting cabt.org, “liking” CABT on Facebook at facebook.com/nobiggertrucks, or following CABT on Twitter at twitter.com/nobiggertrucks. 

Government Finance Officers honor Allen ISD

The Allen Independent School District has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA).

The national Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting and attaining it is a significant accomplishment by a government agency.

Allen ISD’s Finance Department received the Award of Financial Reporting Achievement for preparing the CAFR. The report was judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program including demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the CAFR.

The GFOA is a non-profit professional association serving about 17,500 government financial professionals with offices in Chicago and Washington, D.C.

Outdoors: Get outside on the Preston Ridge Trail in Plano TX

The Preston Ridge Trail is a part of the City of Plano trail system. This north-south trail though the City of Plano connects a number of other trails, including the Bluebonnet Trail, the Preston Meadow Trail, and the Legacy Trail. The trail also connects to Daffron Elementary, Preston Meadow Park, Carpenter Park and Recreation Center, and Borchardt Elementary School.

Check out Plano Trail Maps

Plano ISD job fair for teachers April 23

Plano ISD teacher job fair April 23, 2016
Plano ISD teacher job fair April 23, 2016

Plano Independent School District
Teacher Job Fair
Saturday, April 23, 2016
9 a.m. to Noon

In order for applicants to receive an invitation to the Teacher Job Fair, the following qualifications must be met:

  • Must hold, or be eligible for, a valid Texas Teaching Certificate.
  • Must be highly qualified under the requirements of No Child Left Behind.
  • All elementary candidates must have ESL certification in order to be offered a teaching position in PISD.
  • Must successfully pass the criminal history/background check.
  • Register by April 8, 2016. This timeline will be strictly enforced.
  • Current 2015.2016 Plano ISD teachers are not eligible to attend the Teacher Job Fair.

Registration Information
Existing Applicants

If you currently have an active application, please log in to TEAMS and update your application.

Plano ISD Online Employment ApplicationOpens new window

Under “Contact Origin,” you will need to choose, “April 2016 Teacher Job Fair” (see example below).

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