squad carDallas Police are investigating 20 driveway robberies since January 1st, including the latest on February 7th in Lake Highlands.

At approximately 10:30 p.m. that night in the 8300 block of Club Meadows near Moss Haven Elementary, a woman and her male friend exited a car in the front driveway. As they walked toward the house and the woman tried to unlock the door, three black men approached and demanded they come away from the door. The men displayed a gun and stole the woman’s purse and the man’s wallet. As the suspects fled on foot they fired one shot in the air.

This driveway robbery is just the latest in a string of similar occurrences, but police say it’s unlikely the crimes are being committed by the same people. All took place as victims were arriving home, but the descriptions of the perpetrators and the weapons they’ve used have varied.

One of the patrolman responding to the Club Meadows robbery told members of the Moss Farm Alliance, the neighborhood’s homeowner’s association, that “the common denominator in the 20 or so armed robberies that have occurred in Dallas since January 1, 2014 is poor lighting and victims not being aware of surroundings.” The robberies have occurred mostly at night, he said, in both the front and the back of homes.

Safety experts say there are a few tips for preventing driveway robberies, including turning off your car radio when nearing your home to increase awareness of your environment, installing motion sensor outdoor lighting to help you see who’s around you, and keeping shrubbery trimmed so burglars have no place to hide.

Dallas Police warnings, posted here on Facebook, include not being distracted on cell phones, avoiding dark areas when alone, and calling 911 if you feel you are being followed.

If you have information about any of Dallas’ driveway robberies, you are urged to call Crime Stoppers at 214-373-8477 or the Dallas Police Robbery unit at 214-671-3584.