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Thieves Hit Local Storage Units

Island Moon

July 15, 2011

Island Police Blotter

Fourth of July Stats, A Would-Be Bandit, and a Beer Brawl

The Fourth of July 2011 weekend statistics from 5 am, July 1, 2011 to 8 am, July 5, 2011. CITYWIDE: DWI’s – 13 Two of which were felony DWI’s (3rd or more) and 11 were Class “B” Misdemeanors Fireworks – 7 General Citations BEACH STATS:

Phone fight

Reckless Driving – 1 Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon 1 Accidents – 3 Warrants – 2

2:18 p.m. June 29 Aggravated Assault 800 block Texan Trail

COMPARISON 2010 to 2011: 2010 Calls for Service – 3276 2011 Calls for Service

The 44 year old victim reported to Officers, she along with 34 year old husband who are currently separated, were spending time together as they cared for their children’s medical needs. During a meal break, her husband received a telephone call from a female friend and an argument ensued. The victim attempted to grab the phone, but the suspect pulled the phone back causing it to break in half. The victim kept half of the phone and walked home. Her husband followed her home and attempted to retrieve the other half of the phone. The victim reached into the passenger side of the vehicle to hand over the phone, but the suspect closed the automatic windows and sped off. The victim was able to slip her hand out of the window and escape. She sustained a bruised bicep. The suspect fled prior to police arriving and was not located. The victim declined medical care at the scene.

Well can I at least have some M&Ms? 2:05 a.m. July 1 Aggravated Robbery 1722 Rodd Field (Stripes)

Thieves broke into an Island storage unit on July 4th and 5th, cleaning out more than a dozen lockers over their two day spree, according to victims of the break in and Corpus Christi Police. The burglars entered the lockers in the 14400 block of SPID by getting through a locked outside door into an internal hallway then using bolt cutters to cut their way into the individual lockers. CCPD is carrying the case as one case of breaking and entering and three cases of unlawful entry.

The first day the thieves broke in they replaced the cut locks with new locks so that nothing looked out of place when they came back the following day to finish their work. They loaded the loot into their cars under the watchful eye of security cameras, according to those who viewed the tapes, they sometimes used the stolen loot to block a view of their face, and in other cases mugged for the cameras. In one case they hefted a large gun safe into the back of a small compact car.

The caper was discovered when an Islander was called by a man in Flour Bluff to inform him that a man telling him that the victim’s computer was being offered for sale on Craig’s List by a man identifying himself as the

same person whose name was on the computer. However, the name on the computer was that of the victim, not the seller. The Islander said, “That can’t be that computer is in my storage unit.” When he went to the unit to check he found a lock on his unit which was not his and called the police who opened the locker to find it empty. A further check turned up thirteen more that had been burgled. When police checked the surveillance tape they were able to make out the license plate number on at least one of the vehicles used in the break in and identified suspects. Police told the victims they believed the thieves intended to sell some of the items and trade the guns for drugs which the drug dealer would then resell to gang members. In order to identify their belongings victims were asked to view the surveillance tapes so they got to watch as thieves carried them off. So far no charges have been filed in the case and police have not said when or if that will happen.

Trivia Question of the Fortnight What is the name of the town along the Texas border allegedly founded by the Pirate Jean Lafitte? (hint: it’s not Galveston)

Last fortnight’s Question: Dale, The television show, “How States Got Their Shapes” mentioned in a recent broadcast that Padre Island was once in consideration for the site of the first nuclear test. We all know they chose the White Sands missle range in New Mexico to be the site of the first atomic bomb, so I have the following question? What was Padre Island like during World War II and what can you tell us about Padre Island being under consideration as the site of the first atomic bomb?

Officers responded to a Robbery at the Stripes. The clerk stated that a Hispanic Male, about 5’5” and 145lbs walked into the store at about 2 a.m.. The suspect was wearing a red hoodie, that was on backwards, in an attempt to cover his face. The hoodie had holes cut out so that the suspect could see through it. He was also wearing long black shorts, white socks and dark colored shoes. He threatened the clerk with a potato peeler type knife and demanded money. The clerk did not give the suspect any money. The suspect left the store on foot without any merchandise or cash.

4:08 p.m. July 7 Wanted subject 900 Vancura

11:05 a.m. July 6 Theft 10650 SH 361

Officers contacted 49 year old man who was standing next to a pile of scrap metal on the catwalk crossover at IH 37 and 900 Cantwell. During their investigation he was found to have an outstanding warrant. He was arrested and booked at the CDC. He was charged with an outstanding Parole Violation Warrant.

Officers contacted an A-Tinum Energy employee, 48, who reported the theft of approximately 400 feet of copper wire from two terminal boxes. He told Officers the wire was taken overnight between midnight and 2:00 a.m. on July 6, 2011. The value of the copper wire is estimated at $1,500. Beer brawl 2:40 A.M. July 5 Robbery 2202 Waldron Rd Officers responded to a robbery at the Stripes Convenience Store and contacted the store clerk who reported he was in the men’s room when the door chime sounded. The clerk told Officers he walked out in time to see a male running out the store with two 12-packs of beer. He ran to get a description of the suspect when he bumped into the second suspect at the front door. The second suspect was attempting to run away with two more 12-packs of beer. The suspect tossed the beer on the floor and began throwing punches at the clerk. He then picked up the stolen beer and fled. The clerk sustained minor injuries, but refused treatment. Both suspects were last seen running northbound from the store. The first suspect is described as a Hispanic male, 20 to 25 years of age, 5’4” to 5’7” feet tall and weighing 120 to 160 lbs. He was last seen wearing a blue hoodie. The second suspect is described as a Hispanic male, 20 to 25 years of age, 5’9” to 6’0” feet tall and weighing 150 to 165 lbs. He was last seen wearing a light colored sweater. Anyone having any information regarding this crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 888-TIPS or the Corpus Christi Police Department Homicide/Robbery Bureau. Car dragging

In March of that year planning for the test was assigned to a professor of physics at Harvard. The heads of the project considered eight candidate sites, including San Nicolas Island in California, San Luis Valley, El Malpais National Monument, Mojave Desert, an Army base near Rice, California, and Padre Island which was already a bomb range used for training Navy pilots.

The best option was considered the Army base near Rice but the military head of the project, General Leslie Groves didn’t want anything to do with the base’s commander General George Patton so it was ruled out. The New Mexico site was decided on and our Island was saved from nuclear attack. The Island in war time

Padre Island had been declared off limits to the public in the early 1940s primarily so it could be patrolled easily by the military to prevent enemy agents from coming ashore. Then in 1943 seven bombing targets and eight strafing targets were located in what is now Padre Island National Seashore and to protect the coast from German U-Boat attacks, the Coast Guard occupied nine beach patrol stations on The Island. No spies were ever found but the U-boats were active offshore. Between 1942-43 33 Allied ships were sunk and 434 lives were lost. Debris from the sunken ships routinely washed up on Island beaches.

Patrols were stopped in 1944 as the U-Boat threat diminished but bombing runs on the Island range continued until the mid 1960s. The targets were one hundred yards across with a red bullseye. A variety of bombs were used. Some bombs were actually wooden miniatures about the size of a bowling pin with a .12 gauge shotgun shell in the nose to throw up sand and show the pilot where he had hit. Flour was also used to mark the place of impact. According to the research done on the area when PINS was formed, the principal practice bomb, the Mark IV, was only nine inches long and contained a 40-gauge shotgun shell in the nose as an explosive. Some larger bombs were dropped on occasion, (up to 500-pounders), and typically half of their weight would be explosive.

All told Padre Island National Seashore was home to about seven bombing sites starting about 14 miles south of Bob Hall Pier and extending south for 35 miles, each about five miles apart.

During that time,The Island also was home to eight strafing targets and a similar site also was located on Matagorda Island. Over time the Padre Island range was

used to train pilots from Corpus Christi Naval Air Station, Kingsville Naval Auxiliary Air Station and Chase Field at Beeville. By the end of 1942 Corpus Christi NAS and its auxiliary bases were processing 2,500 pilots per month and became the largest naval pilot training facility in the world. Among the notables trained there were future President George Bush, Senator/Astronaut John Glenn, actor Tyrone Power, and TV emcee Bob “Come on down!” Barker,

What metal? I don’t see no metal

Copper thieves strike again

Wayne Mastalski

Thanks for the question Wayne. While we were aware of the bombing range on The Island during WWII that’s the first we had heard of the possibility of a nuclear blast there. Strange as that seems to us now, at that time there was nothing on The Island except coyotes and Patrick Dunn’s cattle. Given that no one was really sure how big that first nuclear blast would be - didn’t they ask Albert Einstein if it would set off a chain reaction that would destroy the world? - they wanted an isolated spot and The Island in 1944 fit the bill.

to the ground at Sea Pines and Palo Seco. He sustained several cuts and scrapes on his hands, elbows, legs, and feet. A Good Samaritan transported the victim home. The victim’s mother and grandmother transported the victim to Spohn South Hospital for medical care. The Homicide/Robbery Bureau will continue the investigation.

2:39 p.m. June 28 Aggravated Assault 5950 Saratoga Officers contacted the 15 year old victim who reported he had been involved in an argument with a couple of males and was struck by their car. The victim told the Officer his friends drove by his grandmother’s house and stopped. He began arguing with the passenger and stepped onto the side of the truck and hung on as he continued quarreling. The driver sped up in an attempt to shake off the victim. The victim tried to hold on, but fell

July 4 1 a.m. 14300 Block S PADRE ISLAND DR Burglary of a vehicle July 4 1;05 a.m. 14300 Block S PADRE ISLAND DR Burglary of a vehicle July 6 11:40 a.m. 10600 Block HWY 361 Theft July 2 11:49 p.m. 10600 Block HWY 361 Assault with a deadly weapon July 3 15800 6:30 p.m. Block S PADRE ISLAND DR Burglary of a vehicle July 1 2:29 p..m. 15500 Block CUTTYSARK ST Assault with bodily injury July 2 11:25 p.m. 13900 Block FORTUNA BAY DR Assault: Threatened bodily injury July 7 9:45 p.m. HWY 361 & S PADRE ISLAND DR Assault with bodily injury July 7 9:38 p.m. 14400 Block CABANA EAST ST Assault with bodily injury July 7 9:40 p.m. 14400 Block CABANA EAST ST Assault by contact July 7 5:41 p.m. 14400 Block S PADRE ISLAND DR Burglary of a building, breaking and entering, breaking and entering, breaking and entering July 3 8:30 p.m. 15800 Block S PADRE ISLAND DR Burglary of a vehicle, theft, theft July 3 9:36 p.m. 15800 Block S PADRE ISLAND DR Assault with bodily injury, assault There are currently six registered sex offenders living on The Island

From time to time crews had to repair the targets and since there was no bridge or real landing strip on The Island crews had to travel by boat. Eventually a housing facility known as Caffey barracks was built which is still on the island and now serves as the ranger station. The story is told that Patrick Dunn’s cattle got so accustomed to the bomb and strafing runs that when they heard the drone of an airplane engine overhead they would move away from the targets on the ground less they be turned into government surplus hamburger then when the planes left they would crowd back in around the targets where the grazing was good. We have not heard any stories of how the cowhands working the Dunn Ranch dealt with the incoming bomb load but given that the ranch was in operation during the same time as the bomb ranges were operational it must have made for a nervous marriage. Bombing practice was halted during the annual roundups when Dunn’s cowboys would start at the south end of The Island and push the cattle northward to the pins that were located near Packery Channel on the back side of The Island.

The UPPER PADRE ISLAND GOLF CART CLUB had its First Rally Saturday July 9th with 8 Golf Carts attending. The Golf Carts met at the POA Office and travelled to the Holiday Inn where they enjoyed the Band at the SandBar along with Happy Hour Drink & Food Specials. The next Rally is planned for Sunday August 14th 11:00 a.m. Meet at the POA and rally to Ellis Beach for a Sunday Brunch & BBQ. Please e-mail to UPIGOLFCARTCLUB @ AOL.COM OR Call Ellie at 949-7123 to sign up for the rally and be put on the roster for future events.

Cleanup In 1966 the military began to cleanup the site but up through the late nineties Mike would occasionally still get calls at the Moon from time to time from someone who had found one of the practice bombs on The Island and wanted to know what it was. Mike had a curiosity about bombs because his grandfather had brought a hand grenade home from WWI that Mike still had. He was carrying it in his car once when it occurred to him that if it went off he would be the last casualty of WWI. So Mike would drive to the National Seashore to where the latest “bomb” had been found and wander around in the dunes trying to find another one. He kept one in his office for a time but it has since disappeared. Back in 1966 a Flour Bluff teen-ager lost two fingers when a practice bomb exploded as he tried to scrape rust from it. On rare occasions old bombs are still found but park policy prohibits the use of metal detectors to try and find them. Some years ago there was talk of reviving the Island bombing range when a range in Puerto Rico was closing but the idea never went very far. So for now at least, The Island is safe from aerial attack but in WWII it was one noisy place. Dale Rankin

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Island Moon Newspaper  

July 15, 2011 page 8

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