PAPD cracking down on burglars

Published 5:11 pm Friday, May 12, 2017

Inside an office at the Port Arthur Police Department is a large white board where officers within the community response unit keep track of burglaries in the nine districts of the city.

The board lists the names of suspects and the district where the crimes occurred.

On Thursday one of the many names on the list was crossed after being arrested by police on an outstanding parole warrant on Platt Avenue.

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Police believe the suspect, identified as Clifton Tubbs, is responsible for a number of burglaries in the city.

“After he was arrested the neighbors came out of their homes and applauded,” Officer Mike Hebert, a member of the unit, said.

Clifton Tubbs

The purpose of the recently formed community response unit is to bring down the number of burglaries in the city.

“The first thing we did was go district by district and identify those crimes on a pin map, targeting every single burglary,” Hebert said.

The map is updated every 30 days and is a way to track crimes, see if they are related and track suspects.

Tubbs was found on a Crimestoppers tip, as was Tamasha Funt, 32, of Port Arthur.

Police believe Funt was involved in numerous crimes in District Four in the Lakeview area of the city. The crimes include aggravated robberies and burglaries.

Funt is believed to be working with several other people, he said.

“The last one they (group of criminals) did, in the 5200 block of 10th Street, the family had left to rush their child to Texas Children’s Hospital,” he said. “Neighbors with security cameras were able to capture enough images to identify the suspects.”

When police pulled Funt over for warrants, she allegedly had the victim’s camcorder under her feet in her vehicle.

Hebert and the other officers in the unit are working to solve crimes and also prevent crimes.

Sgt. Jeremy Houston, who heads up the recently formed community response unit, believes their strategy is working.

“I believe it is very effective and that we are making great progress,” Houston said.

The group is steadily identifying and arresting the suspects. Daniel Moore, Hebert said, has been arrested for burglaries in the Griffing Park area.

“He had broken a window in a kitchen (to get inside a home). The homeowner pointed a gun at him and he took off running,” he said.

Also in custody is Winfred Lamotte. Police believe Lamotte spent five hours inside El Potrillo Western Wear in the 4200 block of Gulfway Drive burglarizing the business. He was located through a CrimeStoppers tip.

Police still need help in identifying and locating some of the suspected burglars. One of those men is considered a cat burglar who was caught on video camera trying to break into an elderly couple’s home in the 2700 block of 10th Street. In the surveillance video footage, the suspect appeared to be a black male wearing a baseball hat and football jersey with double zeros on the front. Police believe he then hit the store in the 2700 block of Seventh Street.

Another burglary suspect that needs identifying, also seen in security camera video taken from the 4200 block of 32nd Street, shows a male with a large distinctive tattoo on the right side of his neck that may wrap around to the left side.

Police said there’s a problem with the juvenile burglars. A resident recently posted information about crimes in and around 39th Street in the District Three area, which includes Pear Ridge, Griffing Park, Park Place areas.

“We know who they are; we’re very aware,” Hebert said, while looking at suspect information and photo of one of the suspects. We took four into custody about six weeks ago. They were released from juvenile and soon after we took three of them back into custody. All of the juveniles have been expelled from school.”

Keeping the suspected burglars off the streets is a battle every day, Hebert said, adding that he hopes the court systems do their job.

Hebert stressed that surveillance systems, which he said are more affordable than ever, help officers identify suspects.

Persons with information about crimes can call CrimeStoppers of Southeast Texas at 833-TIPS.