DALLAS — Dallas police said late Sunday they have recovered a vehicle belonging to sexual assault suspect Van Dralan Dixson.
The car was found in a Garland parking lot and towed to the Dallas Auto Pound for further investigation.
A DNA test has positively matched Dixson, 38, with one of nine rapes in the Fair Park area of Dallas. He remains at large, facing an aggravated sexual assault charge with bond set at $1 million.
Police said they interviewed members of Dixson's family on Sunday as they try to determine where he is.
Family members told investigators that Dixson left his children in the care of family members.
The police interest in Van Dixson came as a shock to many residents who live on his block and know him by his nickname, "Neighborhood Watch."
“He just walks every night, all night," said area resident Billy Washington. "Every time I would look out my window, or out my door, he was walking."
“He would have on his basketball shorts and his T-shirt, and he would have his weapon, of course," said another neighbor who did not wish to be identified. "He would just be patrolling our neighborhood.
So imagine their surprise when Dallas police said their outwardly anti-crime neighbor was wanted for sexual assault.
“Everybody's shocked; most of the people didn't believe it,” said a man who runs a business nearby and who also didn’t want to be identified.
Dixson lives in a home close to the scene of all nine assaults, but it’s been days since anyone has seen him.
Dixson does have a criminal history. A judge sentenced him for a series of assaults with a weapon in 1993.
On August 3, Dallas police arrested him on a deadly conduct charge, but neighbors said he was quickly back home... and back to patrolling.
“He was really concerned about this neighborhood," the business owner said. "He'd say, 'We have to watch each other,' and all that stuff.”
Now neighbors wonder if it was all a lie, a terrible irony.
Their presumed protector is now on the run.
“He's not trying to help us with the crime, he's a part of the crime!” one neighbor said.
Investigators confirmed Sunday that Dixson does have children, but he left them in the care of a family member before disappearing.
If you’ve seen Van Dixson or know where he might be, you’re asked to call 911 immediately.
Anyone wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 214-373-8477. Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for information which leads to the arrest and indictment for this felony offense or any other felony offense.
Oak Farms Dairy is offering an additional $10,000 reward in the Dixson case.