THE CRIME:  Burglary
DATE: Thursday, Sept. 27
TIME: 7 p.m.
PLACE: 7900 block of Blacktail

There are people in America without stove in their homes.
One of these is Jason Key’s in Preston Hollow, but it’s not because, like some people, he has learned to make do with only a microwave. Or that, like others, he enjoys the taste of food only when it is cooked over open flame, or because all of his nutrition and sustenance is derived solely from our nation’s many fast-food establishments.
Key’s house currently sits vacant, awaiting a buyer, and it’s for this reason that burglars were able to break in and score such a hefty prize. The home’s placement, which allows no one in neighboring houses a view of what goes on in the back yard, meant the burglar “could work in total private,” Key says, prying open the French doors in the back and gaining entry to the house and its $1,000 stove.
Despite the luxury of time, Key says the burglars seemed to have rushed, leaving behind numerous valuable items, such as the dishwasher and some ceiling fans.
“I’m glad they didn’t go for anything else,” Key says. “But it seems like, in terms of being quick, they did the right thing. If they knew what they were doing, they could’ve been in and out with that stove in 15 minutes or so. The only thing connecting it to anything was a power cord.”
Dallas Police Lt. Michael Woodberry says the theft’s seemingly rushed nature is typical, as “burglars very rarely have a plan.” The choice of stolen item, however, could signify some forethought, he says.
“I’ve heard of a lot of thefts in vacant homes like this, but stealing the stove is not common,” Woodberry says. “It takes more effort, because it’s obviously not a one-person job. It requires a pickup truck, probably, and maybe going in there with a dolly to carry it out. They may have just decided on the one item they wanted, got it and got out.”
Key says he’s not a real estate broker; he only dabbles in the renovation and sale of residential properties. This was the first of his homes to be burglarized, he says, but in his other line of work — partner in a mechanical installation business — this sort of thing is commonplace.
“My other business installs things like plumbing and air conditioning in buildings, and we get things stolen from the empty buildings we’re working on,” Key says. “They mostly take bathtubs, faucets and fixtures like that. Happens all the time.”

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