The suspects exited a second-floor door, jumped over the balcony and slid down the roof. But by the time a neighbor saw them, she couldn’t tell if they were coming or going.
They made off with almost $10,000 in loot, some of it irreplaceable autographed sports memorabilia. And the homeowner, Roxane Guerrero, speculates that it’s all because a rear bathroom window was left unlocked by contractors who did some painting the previous week.
“It was this one stupid window that didn’t get locked. They just got lucky.”
In addition to getting lucky, the burglars also got a couple DVD players, two laptops, a satellite box and several autographed sports jerseys.
But the biggest loss was an X-ray of Muhammad Ali’s broken jawbone from his 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle” with George Foreman in Kinshasa, Zaire. A shadow box containing the x-ray and an autographed copy of a Sports Illustrated photo of Ali and Foreman was stolen during the burglary.
Guerrero says she is a Mavericks and Stars season ticket holder and spent 10 years building her collection of sports memorabilia.
“Once or twice a year, I’m in a position to get an autograph. The Ali piece was a little different. I bought that piece at a trade show,” she says.
“Ali signed his x-ray, and a light in back illuminated the x-ray. It was pretty cool.”
The novelty of the piece, not to mention the loss, is magnified by the fact that Ali doesn’t sign autographs anymore. But it is its uniqueness that could lead to its recovery. Guererro is optimistic that it will end up in an auction someday.
She’s pretty much written off the rest of the items, including the jerseys. However, the fact that they are autographed, but not personalized, coupled with the fact that the witness said the suspects were teenagers, could result in another lead.
“It happened between 2:30 and 3 p.m. and Hillcrest [High School] is right over there. There was a suggestion that it was a joy ride by Hillcrest students. They might be walking around wearing the jerseys right now.”
However, Deputy Chief David Elliston says there is no reason to believe that the suspects came from Hillcrest or any other area school. He notes that suspects in burglaries range from young juvenile offenders to adults, with no specific number of either committing the offenses.
“Many ‘school-age’ kids are sometimes truant, or not enrolled in school at all. At this point we have no evidence there is a link to any of the Hillcrest High School students with this burglary.”
However, he does note that there were some burglaries in the same general area around the time when a group of door-to-door magazine sales people were working the area.
“As you know, they are put out in large numbers, work the area for a few days, and move on to other areas.”
Guerrero is more careful these days. She definitely locked that unlucky window and has begun using the alarm, whether she is going to be out for just a few minutes or the whole day.
She offers this advice to anyone who will listen.
“If you want to tell something to people – check all your windows!”
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