Plano’s State of the City is slated for 5:30 Feb. 9 at the Rodenbaugh Theatre at Willow Bend Center of the Arts. The event will celebrate 150 years of Plano as well as discussing the future of Plano.
The Plano Faces Fair will be open pre- and post-event from 4:30-7:30 p.m.
City departments will have representatives on-site to meet with community members and answer questions.
Seating is limited. The event will also be live-streamed on planotv.org for those who are unable come in person.
Three suspects arrested in connection with targeted burglaries
In 2022, there was a significant trend of burglaries victimizing Plano residents of Asian/Indian heritage, according to the Plano Police Department.
In each incident, the victims' apartment doors were forced open, and the suspects targeted the master bedroom and bathroom for gold or jewelry, and every apartment burglarized had at least one Asian or Indian resident, the department said.
Three suspects were identified as responsible for dozens of residential burglaries across several states including Texas, Georgia, North Carolina and Florida — all of which targeted Asian or Indian residents, the department said. The three suspects were identified as Jose Gonzalez, Libardo Soto and Melba Gaitan. All three are Colombian Nationals. Gaitan is a permanent U.S. resident. Soto is present on a work visa. Gonzalez has overstayed his visa, the department said.
Two teams of detectives traveled to Houston and Orlando to arrest the suspects responsible for the burglary offenses targeting the Asian/Indian community.
All three suspects were taken into custody without injury or incident.
Their homes were searched pursuant to evidentiary search warrants. In the course of the search warrant in Orlando, $35,000 cash and jewelry valued approximately between $100,000 to $150,000 was recovered, along with tools for dismantling jewelry and contact information for retailers that buy gold and silver. The search of the other two suspects’ apartment in Houston yielded approximately $50,000 worth of jewelry, jewelers tools and electronic communications devices used in the burglaries.
Soto and Gaitan are currently in custody at the Fort Bend County Jail. Gonzalez is currently in custody at the Miami Dade Jail, and DHS ICE has placed a hold on him due to his expired visa.
Police earn second in negotiation competition
Off by one point, Plano’s Crisis Negotiator Team placed second in the Texas Association of Hostage Negotiators’ annual competition.
The teams conducted mock hostage negotiation exercises, where they were graded by top experts in the field.
The competition took place on the campus of Texas State University with 29 teams participating. Negotiators from local municipal and state law enforcement units from across the U.S. were joined by teams from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, and even a team from as far away as Singapore competed in the event.
Locally, seven Plano police negotiators and a Plano police emergency services unit intelligence officer participated in the eight-hour competition.