All posts by Kirk Stowers

Vehicle Crashes Delay Commute on Freeway Thursday Evening

Crashes on the freeway near Weber Road that involved 11 vehicles tied up rush hour traffic Thursday evening.

Three crashes happened at 4:45pm on State Highway 358 near Weber Road and fortunately, no injuries were reported. The first crash involved five vehicles. A 41-year-old man drove a white 1995 Ford F-250 with a green trailer east on State Highway 358. The traffic slowed and the truck struck a tan 2002 Lincoln Towncar driven by a 70-year-old woman. The Lincoln then struck a black 2008 Mazda, and then a blue 2013 Hyundai Accent. The 41-year-old man received a citation for failing to control speed.

The second crash happened as a 40-year-old woman stopped her gray 1993 Chevy Suburban to avoid a collision with the first vehicle crash which happened in front of her. An unknown vehicle struck the Suburban and then left the scene. Police are now looking for any information about the vehicle that struck the Suburban and a Hit & Run investigation has begun for that second crash.

The third vehicle crash happened as a 46-year-old man stopped his black 2010 Mazda for the stopped traffic for the previous two crashes. The Mazda was struck from behind by a white 1999 Ford E-150 van driven by a 61-year-old man. The Mazda then struck a black GMC Sierra and then a red 2007 Ford F-150. The 61-year-old man received a citation for failing to control speed, expired vehicle registration, driving with an expired driver license, and for no insurance.

The freeway was re-opened for normal use a little after 6:00pm.

Police Seek to Identify Computer Thief

Acura1 Acura2 Acura3 Acura4

The Corpus Christi Police Property Crimes Detectives would like help from the public to identify and locate the woman responsible for several thefts at a Flour Bluff store. The thefts took place on June 4, 5, & 6 2013.

The woman entered the store at 1250 Flour Bluff Drive and each day took a Hewlett-Packard computer left the store without paying for the merchandise. Each computer was valued at $478 dollars. The woman left the store in a 2001 silver Acura that displayed Texas License Plate BR6Z269.

The woman is described as a Hispanic female, about 40 years of age, is about 5 foot 5 inches tall, and 150 pounds.

Anyone interested to research reported criminal activity in Corpus Christi may search the website Crimereports.com for valuable information. Anyone who can identify this woman or has additional information about this crime should call the Corpus Christi Police Property Crimes Detectives at 886-2841. Anyone who would like to submit information to investigators and keep their identity secret may provide the information through Crime Stoppers at 888-TIPS (8477) or submit the information online at www.888TIPS.com. Information that leads to an arrest may earn the caller a cash reward.

Date: June 6, 2013, 13:12

Location: 1250 Flour Bluff Drive http://goo.gl/maps/I6i3h

Offense: Theft

Case Number: 1306060061

Auto Theft Public Advisory

The Corpus Christi Police Department’s Auto Theft Task Force would like to warn the public to check references for an auto mechanic before placing a vehicle in a shop for repairs.

The Task Force supervisor, Lieutenant Chris White, said his office has received several complaints recently about disputes with auto mechanic shops which are not criminal, but must seek civil remedy in the civil court system. Lt. White said the best practice to avoid certain problems with repair shops is to check references of the shop before placing the vehicle for repairs. Vehicle repair shops may be checked for reputation by previous customers and from the Better Business Bureau. Customers should check the shop for a website and ask familiar people if they have had any work done at the particular shop.

The following is a statement of what the Attorney General’s office recommends:

CAR REPAIRS

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Texas has no comprehensive statute specifically governing auto repairs. However, the Deceptive Trade Practices/Consumer Protection Act includes some sections which deal with auto repairs. Under this law, it is illegal to:

  1. Knowingly  make a false or misleading statement about the need for parts or repair service.
  2. State  that work has been done or parts were replaced when that is not true.
  3. Represent  that goods are original or new, when in fact they are second-hand or  refurbished.

How Do I Protect Myself?

Your best protection from fraud and faulty repair work is to find a reputable mechanic or repair shop before your car needs to be repaired.

Ask your friends if they know of a reliable mechanic. After you’ve selected some repair shops, call the Better Business Bureau or the Office of the Attorney General in your area and ask if anyone has complained about the shops you are considering. Ask the shops for the names of customers you can contact to see if they are satisfied with the shops’ work.

Authorization To Inspect Before Work Is Done

You should get a written authorization to tow, inspect, test drive, diagnose, or disassemble any part of your car for the purposes of providing an estimate of repair costs, prior to towing the vehicle and prior to the inspection, test drive, diagnosis, or any disassembly. This authorization should state the following:

  1. a description of the towing, inspection, test drive, diagnosis, or disassembly;
  2. the charges for the towing, inspection, test drive, diagnosis, disassembly, storage, and any other charges if you elect not to have the work done after the estimate of repairs costs is disclosed to you;
  3. whether  these charges will be added or included with the cost of repairs;
  4. that  the authorization for the inspection, test drive, diagnosis, or disassembly, does not constitute authorization of repairs;
  5. that the commencement of repairs must be authorized by a separate repair order;
  6. that all parts replaced or removed from the vehicle during inspection will be saved and placed in a plastic bag in the trunk of the vehicle or other suitable place where you can access them; and
  7. an indication of whether your vehicle will be in any state of disassembly when returned to you if you elect not to authorize the repair work and the charges for reassembly without repairs.

Do not sign any form authorizing inspection, test drive, diagnosis, or disassembly that does not cover these items.

Authorization To Begin Repair Work

You may be asked to sign both the authorization to inspect and the authorization to commence repair work at the same time. The authorizations may be on the same piece of paper, but they should require a separate signature. Read each one carefully before signing. The authorization to commence repairs should also include the date and time that you signed the form. If you decide to have repairs made, make sure the initial work order clearly specifies all of the following information:

  1. the repair work to be done,
  2. the  specified fee for the specified work which includes the price for the parts, the price for the labor, the fee for storage, and any other charges,
  3. an indication of whether the replacement parts will be new or rebuilt, and whether there will be a charge for the “core” of parts such as alternators or starters which you may wish to keep,
  4. the date by which repairs will be completed,
  5. the terms of any warranty, including the duration of the warranty, the parts and labor warranted, and the exclusions of the warranty,
  6. an indication of whether the repairs will be paid for in cash, by check, by credit card, or through any another form of financing;
  7. if the  repairs are to be financed, the terms of payment, including the loan      approval from the financing company and the amount of the down payment,      the dates for payment, all financing terms including the amount financed,      the annual percentage rate, the monthly payment, and the number of monthly      payments;
  8. an indication that all parts which will be replaced or removed from the vehicle during the repair will be saved and placed in a plastic bag in the trunk of the vehicle, or else that they will be identified and exchanged for new parts;
  9. your signature approving the commencement of repair work and the method of payment.

Things You Should Not Do

  1. You should not disclose your credit card account number, driver’s license      number, or any other personal information unless you clearly specify that giving the information is only for loan approval purposes, or unless you have approved the work, the work is finished, and you are ready to pay for  it. You should clearly indicate in writing that giving this information does not constitute an authorization to inspect or repair your vehicle. The authorization to inspect or repair is a completely separate authorization that should also require your signature. Deceptive shops  will extract this personal information from you, commence work without your authorization, and then claim that you authorized the work because  you provided this information and would not have done so unless you had  authorized the repairs.
  2. You should not leave valuables in your car.
  3. You should not allow anyone to speak for you in negotiating car repairs on your vehicle. Deceptive shops will use this as an excuse to add on extra charges, on the grounds that your son, boyfriend, sister, or some other person authorized the repairs.
  4. You should not allow your car to be inspected, disassembled, or lifted up on a rack until you have obtained a copy of the inspection authorization forms with your signature showing the information outlined above.
  5. You  should not assume that a friendly smile and a friendly verbal agreement will get your car fixed without arguments, lawsuits, or repossessions. Get everything in writing.

Common Scams

Some of the common ways that deceptive auto repair shops will unfairly separate you from your money are by:

  1. waiting until the vehicle is up on the lift and partially disassembled before getting your authorization to proceed with the repairs. By then, you are  essentially forced to: (a) authorize overpriced repairs or risk getting your car back in a disassembled and unusable condition; or (b) pay a large  and unexpected fee to have your vehicle reassembled, only to discover it no longer runs at all.
  2. showing  you dirty oil with metal filings in it as evidence that you need a new transmission. Virtually all used transmissions have dirty oil with some  amount of dirt and metal filings. This is normal and is not necessarily a sign that you need a whole new transmission. However, once the  transmission is disassembled and reassembled with the same old seals and parts, it usually does not work the same as before.
  3. commencing repair work on your car without first getting your authorization to perform the repair work, and then charging you for repair work which you did not authorize,
  4. giving you a verbal estimate as to the cost of repairs, then charging a higher price.
  5. representing  that repair services will be completed by a certain day in order to induce the sale, then failing to have the repair services completed by that day.
  6. telling you that repairs are needed when in fact they are not needed.
  7. failing to disclose re-assembly or inspection charges before starting repair work.
  8. advertising that the shop will provide “Free towing” and then requiring you to pay for your own towing costs.
  9. telling you that the shop will provide a free rental car during repairs and then requiring you to pay for the rental charges.
  10. telling you that the shop will provide repair services pursuant to a warranty then charging you for repair work covered by the warranty.
  11. representing that work or services have been done, or parts replaced in your car, when the work or services were not done or the parts were not replaced.
  12. starting  repair work on your car before obtaining authorization from you, then charging you for it.
  13. starting repair work before obtaining written approval of the loan from the finance company, in those instances where you borrow money to pay for repairs. If the loan company does not approve the loan, and the work is already done, you may still be liable for the payment if you can’t show the deception.
  14. failing  to complete the repairs as represented to you in the repair work agreement.
  15. failing to repair your car in accordance with the warranty provided after your car is brought to the shop for warranty repairs.
  16. failing to notify you and secure your additional approval, in writing, for any additional work to be done that was not set forth in the original written agreement.
  17. representing or advertising that the shop will accept consumer credit cards or personal or business checks as payment for goods and services, and then refusing to accept credit cards or checks.

Resolving Disagreements Over The Bill

If the charge is much higher than the estimate, or if the work was done without your authorization and you feel that you have been overcharged, question the bill. Have the shop write out the reasons for the difference in cost, and keep this written explanation together with the work estimate, final bill, and other paperwork. Make sure the mechanic returns your old parts. (The mechanic may return some parts, such as alternators and brake shoes, to the parts supplier for a refund, so you may not be able to get all of them.)

Even if you are unsatisfied with the mechanic’s explanation of the difference between the estimate and the final charge, or feel you have been cheated, pay the bill, making clear that you do not agree to it. You can then file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office and/or file a small claims court law suit against the mechanic.

If you refuse to pay a repair bill — even a bill in dispute — the mechanic has the legal right to keep your car until you pay. Even if you feel cheated, you should not pay with a check so you can regain possession of your car and then stop payment on the check — your vehicle may still be repossessed.

If you suspect that the repair shop has violated the law, and you can’t get them to resolve the problem to your satisfaction, your first step should be to take your car to another repair shop. Give the second mechanic a copy of your itemized receipt and order an inspection of the alleged repairs and parts. Get this report in writing. If you notice the same problem with your car is recurring, or find a new problem that should not have arisen, you will be in a better position to negotiate a refund from the first mechanic if you get a second mechanic’s opinion of the work done – in writing.

How Do I Report Fraud?

If you have an auto repair problem that the shop will not correct, the Texas Attorney General’s Consumer Protection office and the Better Business Bureau both offer a complaint resolution process to help resolve your problem.

Administration & Legal

By U.S. Mail:

Office of the Attorney General
PO Box 12548
Austin, TX 78711-2548

Physical Address:

Office of the Attorney General
300 W. 15th Street
Austin, TX 78701

By Email:

Click here to find out how to request public information (open records) held by the Office of the Attorney General.

To email an individual at the OAG, use the following format: firstname.lastname@texasattorneygeneral.gov (e.g., to email Joan Smith, address your email to: joan.smith@texasattorneygeneral.gov).


By telephone:

Main agency switchboard
Public Information & Assistance
Consumer Protection Hotline
Open Records Hotline
Press Office
(512) 463-2100
(800) 252-8011 or (512) 475-4413 (in Austin)
(800) 621-0508
(512) 478-6736 (478-OPEN)
(512) 463-2050

By FAX: (512) 475-2994

Nueces County Fallen Heroes Memorial Steps Closer to Construction

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Design by Turner, Ramirez & Associates Incorporated
Design by Turner, Ramirez & Associates Incorporated

The Nueces County Fallen Heroes Memorial got a boost in funding as announced at the Nueces County Commissioners Court on June 19, 2013. Bill and Dusty Durrill presented a contribution to the memorial from the Durrill Foundation which Commissioner Mike Pusley said was a boost needed for the project.

The Nueces County Fallen Heroes Memorial is planned to be constructed on the Leopard Street side of the Nueces County Courthouse to memorialize the local emergency responders who have died in the line of duty. The Commissioners Court presented a design for the project and acknowledged the efforts of emergency responders and the unfortunate sacrifice many have made for service to the community.

The Fallen Heroes Memorial will replace an old water fountain that no longer operates on the north side of the Nueces County Courthouse. For more information, contact Nueces County Commissioner Mike Pusley at 361-888-0245, Scott Leeton, President of the Corpus Christi Police Officers Association at 361-882-2762, or Carlos Torres, President of the Corpus Christi Firefighters Association at 361-814-4437.

The project is funded by tax-deductible donations to the Coastal Bend Community Foundation. The Coastal Bend Community Foundation may be contacted at 600 Leopard Street Ste. 1716 in Corpus Christi, Texas 78401, by phone at 361-882-9745, or online at http://www.cbcfoundation.org/.

Law Enforcement Explorers Host Graduation Ceremony Saturday

Corpus Christi Explorers Post #133 as pictured in January 2013
Corpus Christi Explorers Post #133 as pictured in January 2013

The Corpus Christi Police Explorer Post #133 and the U.S. Border Patrol Kingsville Explorer Post #531 will host a 2013 Police Explorer Graduation Ceremony on Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 10:00 am at the Del Mar West Campus Emerging Technology Building located at 4101 Old Brownsville Road.

The two Explorer Posts combined resources for the past several months to have a Law Enforcement Explorers Police Academy for youth ages 14-20 who are interested in the law enforcement industry. The Academy began February 7, 2013 and was held every Thursday night and Saturday at the Del Mar College Campus.

There were about 30 students who participated in the Academy and they had classes and instruction on the history of policing, Criminal Law, Crisis Intervention, Traffic, First Aid, Report Writing, Arrest Search and Seizure, Narcotics, Physical Training, and Crime Scene Scenarios.

Law Enforcement Explorers are students ages 14 – 20 who are interested to learn about Law Enforcement careers. The Explorers participate in competitions with other Explorer posts to compete for awards and learn skills in the police industry. Post 133 recruits from throughout Corpus Christi, to include all high schools and colleges in this area. Corpus Christi Police Explorers formed in 1972 as a living memorial and honor for all fallen officers after police officer John Sartain was killed by a sniper. The Explorers are affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America’s Learning for Life program which enhances self-confidence, motivation, civic-mindedness, and cultivates strong leadership traits. These characteristics help Explorers prepare for a career in law enforcement and to become future leaders. Post 133 will celebrate its 40th year anniversary next year.

The Kingsville Border Patrol Explorers also participated in this Academy. The Kingsville Border Patrol Explorers are a new program who reached out to the Corpus Christi Police Department for assistance. The two explorer posts shared resources to facilitate training.

Anyone interested to learn more about Law Enforcement Explorers program may visit: http://exploring.learningforlife.org/services/career-exploring/law-enforcement/.

Police Seek Identity of Phone Thief

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The Corpus Christi Police Property Crimes Detectives would like help from the public to identify and locate a man who stole an iphone cellular telephone worth $700 dollars.

A little after noon on April 30, 2013, a 52-year-old woman made a purchase at a store located in Moore Plaza at 5425 South Padre Island Drive. The 52-year-old woman mistakenly left her cell phone by the customer credit card swipe machine; but the phone was gone when she returned to get her phone. Store employees reviewed surveillance camera records and discovered a man in line behind the 52-year-old woman covered the phone with his wallet, and then took the phone. Corpus Christi Police Detectives would now like to identify and locate the man who stole the phone.

The phone was described as a black iphone4 worth $700 dollars. The suspect is described as a bald white male who wore sunglasses, a gray shirt, black pants, and gray shoes.

Anyone who can identify this man or has any additional information about this crime should call the Corpus Christi Police Property Crimes Detectives at 886-2841. Anyone who would like to provide information to detectives and keep their identity secret may contact Crime Stoppers at 888-TIPS (8477) or submit the information online at www.888TIPS.com. Information provided to Crime Stoppers which leads to an arrest may earn the caller a cash reward.

Man Dies In Single Vehicle Crash Sunday Morning

A 33-year-old man died in a single vehicle crash on the 5700 block of Leopard Sunday morning.

The Corpus Christi Police responded to a single vehicle crash at 2:20am Sunday morning and found two men trapped inside the vehicle. Witnesses told Police the blue 2002 Chevy Trailblazer travelled at a high rate of speed along the 5700 block of Leopard Street, then left the roadway and rolled in a ditch.

A 33-year-old male passenger did not survive the crash. The 29-year-old male driver was taken to the hospital by ambulance for treatment of his injuries. No other person was injured in the crash. Corpus Christi Police Crash Investigators are collecting data from the crash to determine the exact sequence of events and do believe alcohol consumption may have been a factor in the crash.

The 29-year-old man remains in the hospital for treatment of significant injuries as a result of the crash.

Date: June 16, 2013, 2:20am

Location: 5700 block of Leopard Street 

Event: Single Vehicle Crash

Crash Number: C1304424

Police Serve Search and Seizure Warrant On Keys Street

Corpus Christi Police Gang Officers with the assistance of the Corpus Christi Police Narcotics Vice Investigations Division Officers executed a search warrant at 1713 Keys St. on June 14, 2013 at about 9:50am. During a search of the residence officers located 5 grams of crack cocaine and 3.4 grams of powder cocaine.  Less than 1 gram of marijuana was also located in the residence.   A scale and other drug paraphernalia was also located.  Juan Lucio 10/30/74 was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance, a Second Degree Felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Date: June 14, 2013. 9:50am

Location: 1713 Keys Street http://goo.gl/maps/30xsa

Offense: Possession of a Controlled Substance

Case Number: 1306140058

Detectives Seek Help To Identify Burglary Suspects

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The Corpus Christi Police Property Crimes Detectives would like help from the public to identify and locate two people who used stolen credit cards on June 3, 2013.

The Corpus Christi Police Department investigated a burglary to a home located at the 6400 block of Clairfield on Monday, June 3, 2013. Corpus Christi Police Detectives discovered credit cards stolen in that home burglary were used at a store located at 1821 South Padre Island Drive a few hours after the burglary was reported.

Detectives have obtained images of the two people who used the stolen credit cards and now need help from the public to identify the suspects in this crime. The first suspect is described as a white male with tattoos on his right forearm and entire left arm and he wore a black cap backwards, a black t-shirt, khaki cargo shorts, and black shoes. The second suspect is described as a white female with dark blonde hair, a white watch, black t-shirt, denim shorts, and blue shoes.

Anyone interested to research reported criminal activity in Corpus Christi should visit the website Crimereports.com for valuable information. Anyone who can identify these suspects or has any additional information about this crime should call the Corpus Christi Police Property Crimes Detectives. Anyone who would like to provide information to detectives and keep their identity secret may call Crime Stoppers at 888-TIPS (8477) or submit the information online at www.888TIPS.com. Information provided to Crime Stoppers which results in an arrest may earn the caller a cash reward.

Date: June 3, 2013, 23:31

Location: 1821 South Padre Island Drive http://goo.gl/maps/4m5rk

Offense: Credit Card Abuse

Case Number: 1306030031

Man Rolls Vehicle On the Beach Then Arrested

A 25-year-old man was arrested for driving while intoxicated on the beach Thursday night after he was involved in a single vehicle crash.

The 25-year-old man drove a gray 2005 Toyota 4-Runner at a high rate of speed near beach marker 202 at 10:20pm Thursday night. The vehicle entered the water and 25-year-old Justin Dees (8/3/1987) lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle rolled in the surf, but the three occupants of the vehicle were not hurt.

Emergency crews arrived and all involved in the single vehicle crash refused medical attention. Dees exhibited indicators that he was intoxicated so he was arrested for Driving While Intoxicated, a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and up to a $2,000 fine.

The vehicle was taken to the city impound lot and the two other passengers of the vehicle were released at the scene. Dees was taken to the hospital for a medical evaluation and to collect a specimen of his blood. Dees was then delivered to the city detention center.

Date: June 14, 2013

Location: 14400 Gulf Beach Access Road

Offense: Driving While Intoxicated

Case Number: 1306130161