Dallas deputy marshals patrolling Northwest Dallas neighborhood

Every deputy marshal with the Dallas Marshal's office is patrolling the Northwest Dallas neighborhood affected by the natural gas emergency.

FOX 4 was there on Tuesday as they arrested a suspicious man claiming to be a painter with 18 warrants out for his arrest.

Just days before that, a suspicious person call led authorities to a man wanted for stealing from a vacated home affected by the gas explosion.

Dallas marshals were on special operation in northwest Dallas where calls of suspicious persons are coming in almost constantly.

"He was on a bicycle, and he was knocking on doors,” said Dallas Deputy City Marshal Gabriel Alaniz. “So I'm going to get out and see what he was doing."

The man said he's been painting address numbers on houses. But someone who lives in the area thinks he's actually trying to break into houses that have been evacuated or where residents aren't home because they don't have gas. It turned out he had 18 warrants out for his arrest.

"That's just really an all-day thing,” said Interim Dallas City Marshal Paul Hansen. “And it's led to some arrests."

Hansen assigned all of his deputy city marshals to patrol this area after Atmos Energy evacuated or turned off gas for 2,800 homes at the beginning of the month. The latest update from Atmos has just 180 of those homes with gas restored.

Hansen believes they've prevented break-ins and caught burglars fast.

Dallas police say Jose Torres-Gonzalez, who had an immigration hold, was arrested Sunday for stealing from a home that was one of the three that exploded because of a gas leak. Marshals say Gonzalez cased the neighborhood on a rental bike, ditched it, then went back into the neighborhood on foot to steal from the home. A neighbor made a suspicious person call.

"I'm very proud of citizens keeping their eye out in their own neighborhood, and they'll let us know what's going on,” said Alaniz. “They'll say, 'Hey, there's somebody over here we don't recognize.'"

Marshals were able to recover the stolen items.

"Some people have left their homes and their cars, so we're here patrolling the area to prevent theft and crime,” Alaniz said.

Their work is appreciated.

"We've seen a lot of extra police presence,” said resident Laura Moss. “And that gives confidence in the fact that we're safe and we're fine and someone's watching out for us."

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