OPINION COLUMNS

Arrested Developments: At least the phone was smart

By Brian Knox | Published Saturday, February 9, 2019
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Technology may have helped solve the case of a couple of stolen vehicles out of Bridgeport recently.

Bridgeport Police Chief Steve Stanford said a 2017 Chevrolet Colorado pickup was stolen in the 2000 block of Stonegate in his city during the early morning hours of New Year’s Eve. The truck was recovered around noon the same day on County Road 3592 in the Cottondale area.

Brian Knox

Bridgeport PD requested the Wise County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation officers process the vehicle, and they were successful in collecting evidence from the truck, Stanford said, connecting 17-year-old Josue Uriostegui to the vehicle.

Then, technology provided even more help.

“Uriostequi’s iPhone at some point had evidently hooked up to the Chevy pickup’s Bluetooth. … We started it up and it tried to connect to his phone,” Stanford said.

It reminded me of a crime story I wrote in my early years at the Messenger, prior to smart phones, where a suspect dropped his wallet containing his identification at the scene of a burglary. Times and technology may have changed, but suspects leaving behind their names at crime scenes apparently haven’t.

As it turns out, the vehicle theft was also caught on a security camera in the neighborhood where the truck was stolen.

Uriostequi turned himself in for an unauthorized use of a motor vehicle warrant on Jan. 31.

(I feel the need to include this disclaimer: Since this case has not been indicted or brought to trial, all suspects are innocent until proven guilty.)

The story has another strange twist. Stanford said a 15-year-old male who was detained on an unrelated drug charge was found in possession of the stolen vehicle’s key, which was delivered by officers back to the car dealership where the rightful owner had traded in the truck.

The juvenile was released, but on Jan. 13, a 2012 Chevy sedan was reported stolen from the 1100 block of Turkey Creek Court in Bridgeport. The vehicle was located the next day parked within 100 yards of the juvenile’s stepmother’s house in Fort Worth.

When Bridgeport officers attempted to locate the juvenile, they discovered he had been arrested by the Fort Worth Police Department on Jan. 16 for stealing packages off front porches.

Stanford said the juvenile has now been charged in both vehicle thefts.

The investigation continues into possibly-connected vehicle burglaries in the same time frame that resulted in items such as purses and firearms being stolen from unlocked vehicles.

Stanford offered words of advice to avoid being the victim of these types of crimes.

“Lock your doors, hide your valuables and be diligent in reporting suspicious behavior,” the chief said.

He also wanted to thank the sheriff’s office CSI officers for their assistance on both stolen vehicle cases.

Honored Employees

HONORED EMPLOYEES – Among those employees honored at the recent Bridgeport Police Department awards banquet were, from left, Julius Pedergraft, Jerry Upton, Holli Olmos and Todd Low. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Making an Impact

MAKING AN IMPACT – Ryder and Joanna Holley of Five Boys Ranch were named the 2018 “Chief Randy Singleton (Ret.) Community Impact Award” recipient. On hand for the presentation was Bridgeport Police Chief Steve Stanford, left, and Singleton. Submitted photo

DEPARTMENT AWARDS

Bridgeport PD also gave out their department awards last Saturday. Here’s who was honored:

  • Holli Olmos and Vanessa Medrano – Employee of the Year
  • Lieutenant Todd Low and Jerry Upton – Supervisor of the Year
  • Julius Pedergraft – New Employee of the Year
  • Cody Barlow – Sergeant Randy White Officer of the Year
  • Michael Gregory and Horace Langford – Certificate of Merit
  • Nick Crane – Top Shot

The department also recently honored Ryder and Joanna Holley of Five Boys Ranch as the 2018 “Chief Randy Singleton (Ret.) Community Impact Award” recipient. Stanford said the restaurant has provided catering to first responders participating in the annual Wise County Toy Run and provided free meals to customers on Thanksgiving day the past couple of years.

Brian Knox is special projects manager for the Messenger.

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