Dallas neighborhood watch volunteer is arrested in serial rapes

This photo shows Baldwin Street, where rape suspect Van Dralan Dixson has a home.
This photo shows Baldwin Street, where rape suspect Van Dralan Dixson has a home.
(LM Otero / Associated Press)

Who watches the neighborhood watchman? A neighborhood watch volunteer, who vanished after police linked him to a string of rapes that have terrorized Dallas since June, was arrested Tuesday in Lousiana after apparently going on the run.

DNA evidence has linked Van Dralan Dixson, 38, to four of the nine rapes committed in South Dallas, Dallas police said. More tests are pending.

The Dallas Police Department said Dixson was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service.

All of the victims were attacked while walking between midnight and 6 a.m., police said. A masked man wearing shorts and a T-shirt approached each with a handgun. The man forced the women to go to secluded areas, where he robbed and raped them, police said.


After receiving a tip naming Dixson as a suspect, police took him to their headquarters Wednesday for an interview and to take a saliva swab, but did not have enough evidence to arrest him, officials said.

Police said Dixson was spotted leaving his 2003 Saturn at a McDonald’s the next morning and he was not seen again until his arrest.

Dixson had been part of the Mill City Community Assn. neighborhood watch group since January, Alendra Lyons, president of Dallas community group, told local media.

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