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Mavericks player under suspicion in spate of local picnic basket thefts

The team is cooperating with DPD in an investigation of this cartoon-like story.

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Washington Wizards Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

With the Mavericks’ chances of making the playoffs increasingly slim, players are probably already making their summer plans. Unfortunately, any such plans may be derailed for one unnamed player who has come under scrutiny from local authorities after a recent string of bizarre crimes around Dallas’ White Rock Lake that have left locals stunned.

“I was enjoying my day off at the lake with my wife,” says Len Thompson. “We planned to find a nice shady spot and have lunch. I had it all packed up in the back of my car. We stopped off at Central Market before coming to the lake. We were treating ourselves, you know. But I popped the trunk and turned away for a second and poof! Our lunch was gone. Picnic basket and everything!”

Thompson’s story is similar to those of several others who have filed reports with the Dallas Police Department. In fact, the department has been so inundated with calls about stolen picnic baskets around the lake their 9-1-1 service and response time has come under scrutiny.

“We’re taking these reports very seriously,” Major Avery L. Moore, DPD’s Northeast Division Commander, says. “Our chief priority is the safety of the community and we’re following several leads at this time.”

Moore would not expound upon the department’s leads but did give a description of one of the suspects they are hoping to question.

“This individual is thought to have moved to the area in late January,” Moore continued. “Since that time, this suspect has been known by his nickname and established himself as a popular, high profile figure in the city. We have contacted his employer about his whereabouts but he is apparently not in the city at this time.”

Sources with information about the investigation who spoke on the basis of anonymity said that the employer the police contacted was none other than the Dallas Mavericks.

“We have the highest regard for the Dallas Police Department and the officers that serve our community and put their lives on the line for us everyday,” Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said via e-mail. “I and the rest of the Mavs organization have gotten to know many of those brave men and women personally because of their involvement at the American Airlines Center during games. We will cooperate fully with any investigation but it’s almost preposterous to think that they want to question someone from our organization.”

Nonetheless, police are continuing to track down leads to calm the fears and anxiety that have crept into the community since the thefts began.

“I’m still shaken up by the whole experience,” Thompson says. “We were just trying to have lunch by the lake. I’m sure I’ll look back on the whole thing and laugh one day, though. I mean, someone stole my picnic basket. That’s kind of funny. It’s like out of a cartoon or something. Who does that?”