The Crime: Burglary
The Victim: Tim Hughes
Location: 7200 block of Joyce Way
Date: Sunday, July 27
Time: 11 a.m.

They say the best part of a vacation is coming home.

But that didn’t prove to be the case for Preston Hollow neighbor Tim Hughes. He and his family had just returned home from a five-day vacation in Ruidoso, N.M., when he noticed his garage door window had been broken. He says he found shattered glass littered throughout his garage.

“I also noticed that the garage was empty more than usual, ”Hughes says. “I think they (the thieves) were spooked by the neighbors’ big dogs.”

Hughes did a quick inventory and realized the person who broke his window used his own firewood to break through the double-pane glass. He also realized his five-year-old Sears lawnmower was gone.

The Hughes family has lived in their Preston Hollow home since 1991, and they’ve never had any problems with burglary or criminal mischief. Hughes has a motion sensor flood light, so he suspects the thief might have broken into his garage during the daylight hours, even though he had a family member checking on the house while he was away.

While Hughes says it was upsetting to have his home burglarized, he was at least pleased with the Dallas police department’s work in the aftermath.

“They came within the hour after I called and asked me questions and filled out a report,” Hughes says. “Then after the first officer left, within another hour a crime scene detective showed up and looked for fingerprints but couldn’t find any. Then the next morning at 8:30, another policeman called and asked some questions to follow up. He asked me if I had the serial number on the lawnmower, but I didn’t have it.”

Dallas Police Lt. Barry Payne says Hughes played his cards right, but unfortunately that sometimes still isn’t enough.

“He did everything you would expect a homeowner to do, but sometimes you get victimized anyway,” Payne says “The one thing now is that no one is completely immune to crime.

“Our crime prevention program is predicated on target hardening, which means we make it hard for criminals to steal something. However, some of the criminals are dedicated to stealing. We encourage people to take the crime prevention steps. That means the criminals will go to the easier targets.”


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