Port Arthur Police Department to launch website for reporting criminal activity
Published 12:26 am Wednesday, January 25, 2023
The Port Arthur Police Department will soon join other law enforcement agencies across the state in offering an easy way to report some non-emergency crimes.
Gail Kennerson, records supervisor with PAPD, said an internet link will allow the public to report criminal mischief of property and vehicles, harassing phone calls, identity theft, lost property, theft, vehicle burglary and traffic complaints.
The person making the report would need to contact police by phone if there is a suspect in the crime.
Examples of when online reporting would be used include:
- Damaged property — Mailboxes maliciously damaged; “keying” a vehicle; broken windows, defacement of public or private property, no permanent damage to any property, etc. Gang related graffiti should be reported directly to PAPD at 409-983-8600.
- Harassing phone calls — Immediate hang-ups, obscene language, etc. with no known suspects.
- Identity theft — An unknown person obtains a credit card or other goods or services by use of another person’s information.
- Lost property — Personal items that are missing with no indication they were stolen; i.e. left at a restaurant or other public place. Often insurance companies or third parties request a report number. The value of the property must be less than $1,000.
- Theft — Items stolen from a yard, driveway, porch or other common shared areas such as garages or laundry facilities of apartment complexes. The theft cannot have occurred as a result of a break-in to a residence, business or vehicle. Lost of mislaid property is not a theft.
- Traffic complaint — Observed speeding in a specific area at specific times of the day or night if no immediate danger exists.
- Vehicle burglary — Stolen equipment or belongings from a vehicle with the exception of weapons.
Kennerson said the reports will be monitored by a supervisor in the investigations division. Once a report is approved, the person who made the report will receive a case number and could subsequently print documents for insurance purposes.
A number of other cities in the state currently utilize online reporting, including Beaumont, Fort Worth, Houston, Dallas, Austin, Plano, Waco, San Marcos and El Paso.
The idea of adding the online reporting tool was first discussed with Port Arthur Newsmedia in April 2021.
At that time PAPD Chief Tim Duriso said authorities are trying to be progressive and make it easier for residents to report non-emergency crimes.