The Investigations Division of the Victoria Police Department is located in the Police Department building at 306 S. Bridge St. This division is under the supervision of a Captain and includes one Lieutenant and four Sergeants. The Investigations Division is responsible for the follow-up investigation of all Class I and Class II crimes assigned and provides a liaison with the various courts and the District Attorney. The Crime Stoppers program is also part of Investigations.
I reported a crime to the Police but the people have not been arrested yet. Why not?
Reports of criminal activity taken by VPD Police Officers are assigned to a follow-up investigator. If the offender is determined, but the person has not yet been arrested, then the investigator is responsible to work up the case, gathering witness statements and other evidence. This may take some time but once a thorough investigation is complete, the investigator sends a case packet to the Prosecutor’s Office for review. The Prosecutor then determines if a case should be accepted and recommends to a judge that a warrant be issued.
Does it matter where a crime happened for the Police to investigate?
Yes, the crime must have happened in our jurisdiction which is within the Victoria city limits. If it happened outside the city in Victoria County, then you would need to contact the Victoria County Sheriff’s Office. If the incident occurred elsewhere, contact the law enforcement agency for that jurisdiction.
What is a Criminal Trespass Warning?
The owner or someone with apparent authority to act for the owner gives someone either oral or written communication that entry onto the property is forbidden (this can be residential or a business).
Normally, VPD Officers will assist in this “notice” by using a VPD Criminal Trespass Warning form to be filled out during the officer’s investigation and the residents, property owners or business persons who have trespassers at their residence, property, apartment complex, business property, etc., will sign the form. The officer will then request the person to whom the warning is directed to sign the form acknowledging that they may not return to that specific location for a certain time frame (generally no more than a year).
If the person returns, that person may be subject to arrest or the officer may work up a criminal case on the individual and request that charges be filed through the local Prosecutor’s Office.
FYI – Section 30.05 of the Texas Penal Code states in part:
Texas Penal Code § 30.05. CRIMINAL TRESPASS. (a) A person commits an offense if he enters or remains on or in property, including an aircraft or other vehicle, of another without effective consent or he enters or remains in a building of another without effective consent and he:
(1) had notice that the entry was forbidden; or
(2 received notice to depart but failed to do so.
For that entire law click here: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PE/htm/PE.30.htm#30.05
What is Harassment? Can I file charges on someone for harassing me?
The offense of Harassment is defined by the Texas Penal Code, with that law found by clicking here.
In order to prove that a person committed an offense the investigator must prove the elements of the offense. This is often difficult without evidence.
A mail in Harassment Packet may be found by clicking here on the VPD Documents and Forms webpage. Instructions are in the packet and the entire packet must be completed before the VPD will investigate the alleged offense. The VPD investigator is then responsible to work up the case by gathering any other evidence necessary. This may take some time, but once a thorough investigation is complete, the investigator sends a case packet to the Prosecutor’s Office for review. The Prosecutor then determines if a case should be accepted and recommends to a judge that a warrant be issued.
Does the Police Department register Sex Offenders? If so, when?
The VPD Investigations Division has procedures to ensure the proper registration of all persons required to register as a sex offender who are living within the City of Victoria and to ensure compliance with Chapter 62 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
The sex offender registration or verification process is conducted at the VPD on dates and times posted by the Investigations Division. Currently that is only on Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. or by appointment by calling 361-485-3730. No Exceptions.
The registering detective will determine if the sex offender is a new registered sex offender; verifying their information periodically; or reporting their change of status. The detective will then follow the appropriate procedure.
Regardless if the person is at the VPD to register, verify or change status – the registering detective shall always require a photo ID and proof of address from the sex offender. The photo ID must show the current address or show proof from DPS that their current address has been changed.
The Department of Public Safety has created searches for Texas Public Sex Offender Registry. These searches allow the public to search the registry for sex offenders registered in Texas.
I'm curious if something is against the law. How can I find out online?
Below are links where you an explore Texas Laws and Statutes as well as Victoria's City Ordinances.
Click here for Texas Laws and Statutes - found on a website maintained by the the Texas Legislature. Most of the Criminal Laws are found in the Texas Penal Code, however some are within other codes such as the Health and Safety Code for drug/narcotics violations. Most traffic laws are found in the Transportation Code beginning primarily at Chapter 501.
Victoria City Ordinances:
Click here for the City of Victoria Code of Ordinances - found at Municode.com. The information here is provided to Municode by the City Secretary's Office. You can look through the chapters in the left navigation or use their "Search" for a specific topic.
“I’ve Been Robbed !” What’s the difference between a Robbery, Burglary and Theft in Texas?
How often does someone say “Oh no, I’ve been robbed!” When the facts of the case are known, a “Robbery” may not have actually occurred but a Theft or other crime instead.
Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) in the US has been around for a long time and is administered by the FBI. The Victoria Police Department and thousands of other law enforcement agencies report crime data to the FBI via the National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRIS) using their definitions shown here:
Robbery – The taking or attempting to take anything of value from the care, custody, or control of a person or persons by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear. Note – this is considered a violent crime against another person. It is often a violent type of theft in that it is committed in the presence of a victim(s), and in which the victim fears for their safety. Example: A store employee is forced at gunpoint, or knifepoint, to hand over the money
Burglary (breaking or entering) – The unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or a theft. Attempted forcible entry is included. Note: Usually, a victim is not present during the commission of a burglary. Example: A person comes home from work to discover an open door/window and personal items such as jewelry and electronics missing.
Theft – The unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property from the possession or constructive possession of another. Examples are thefts of bicycles, motor vehicle parts and accessories, shoplifting, pocket-picking, or the stealing of any property or article that is not taken by force and violence or by fraud. Attempted thefts are included. Embezzlement, confidence games, forgery, check fraud, etc., are excluded. (Note: These would be other criminal acts).
Definitions From the Texas Penal Code:
(See More at: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/)
Robbery – Texas Penal Code Section 29.02, defines this as:
(a) A person commits an offense if, in the course of committing theft as defined in Chapter 31 and with intent to obtain or maintain control of the property, he:
(1) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another; or
(2) intentionally or knowingly threatens or places another in fear of imminent bodily injury or death.
(b) An offense under this section is a felony of the second degree.
Aggravated Robbery – Texas Penal Code Section 29.03 defines this as:
(a) A person commits an offense if he commits robbery as defined in Section 29.02, and he:
(1) causes serious bodily injury to another;
(2) uses or exhibits a deadly weapon; or
(3) causes bodily injury to another person or threatens or places another person in fear of imminent bodily injury or death, if the other person is:
(A) 65 years of age or older; or
(B) a disabled person.
(b) An offense under this section is a felony of the first degree.
Burglary – Texas Penal Code Section 30.02 defines this as:
(a) A person commits an offense if, without the effective consent of the owner, the person:
(1) enters a habitation, or a building (or any portion of a building) not then open to the public, with intent to commit a felony, theft, or an assault; or
(2) remains concealed, with intent to commit a felony, theft, or an assault, in a building or habitation; or
(3) enters a building or habitation and commits or attempts to commit a felony, theft, or an assault.
(b) For purposes of this section, "enter" means to intrude:
(1) any part of the body; or
(2) any physical object connected with the body.
(c) Except as provided in Subsection (d), an offense under this section is a:
(1) state jail felony if committed in a building other than a habitation; or
(2) felony of the second degree if committed in a habitation.
(d) An offense under this section is a felony of the first degree if:
(1) the premises are a habitation; and
(2) any party to the offense entered the habitation with intent to commit a felony other than felony theft or committed or attempted to commit a felony other than felony theft.
Theft – Texas Penal Code 31.03 defines Theft as:
(a) A person commits an offense if he unlawfully appropriates property with intent to deprive the owner of property.
(b) Appropriation of property is unlawful if:
(1) it is without the owner's effective consent;
(2) the property is stolen and the actor appropriates the property knowing it was stolen by another; or
(3) property in the custody of any law enforcement agency was explicitly represented by any law enforcement agent to the actor as being stolen and the actor appropriates the property believing it was stolen by another.
Note: There is much more to the definitions at the Texas Statutes website.
For this and other Texas Laws visit the Texas Statutes website at: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/
Captain of Investigations
The Captain of Investigations is responsible for the entire division shown below.
Captain of Investigations
The Lieutenant of Investigations is responsible for each of the Investigations teams. This Lieutenant acts as the District Attorney Liaison by ensuring that the criminal cases submitted to the District Attorney's Office by Detectives are complete and timely.
Lieutenant of Investigations
Crime Scene Unit and Cyber Crimes
Special Crimes Unit
The VPD Special Crimes Unit consists of several Detectives supervised by a Sergeant. These Detectives are responsible for the investigation and presentment of ALL narcotics-related investigations, and special investigations that are outside the scope of normal investigative duties which may include illicit gambling and prostitution.
The SCU is trained in covert surveillance and intelligence gathering and has access to sophisticated electronic equipment to aid in surveillance, reconnaissance, and information gathering.
Contact the Special Crimes Sergeant by calling the main Investigations line at 361-485-3730 or click here to email the Special Crimes Unit.
Cyber Crimes Unit
This unit has investigators extensively trained in a wide variety of subjects which include:
- Computer Crimes
- Forensic Analysis of Computers / Hard Drives
- Forensic Analysis of Electronic Devices
- Internet Crimes Against Children
- Child Pornography
- Internet Solicitation
Crime Reduction Unit
The VPD Crime Reduction Unit is made up of several Detectives supervised by the Assault Crimes Unit Sergeant. They are responsible for:
- Conduct proactive enforcement activities regarding known or suspected gang members; violent career criminals; associates; and their residences or hangouts
- Collecting and analyzing gang related information
- Identifying and entering confirmed gang members into a state database
- Identifying and arresting wanted gang members and career criminals
- Investigate complaints, and follow-up on tips regarding gang activity and hangouts
U.S. Marshal's Task Force Detective
The Victoria Police Department has a Detective who serves as a Task Force Officer on the U.S. Marshal's Task Force. This Detective's duties include:
- Conduct research regarding persons wanted on felony charges
- Identifying and arresting those persons with felony warrants
VPD Detectives also investigate various crimes involving juvenile victims and offenders. Our Detectives are trained in interview and interrogation skills and have specialized training in dealing with juveniles. Some of the offenses assigned to this unit include, but are not limited, to the following:
- Physical and Sexual Abuse
- Abandonment, Endangering and Neglect
- Missing and Runaway Juveniles
Links and Resources
- Midcoast Family Services
- Hope of South Texas: (361)573-5868
- National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
- Child Protective Services
- National Clearinghouse on Families & Youth
- National Gang Center
- Cyberbullying Research Center - What is Cyberbullying?