The gate and door were kicked in, and the lawnmower was gone.

Spring is in bloom — flowers sprouting colors and grass turning shades of green. John Barnes and his wife were getting ready for some spring yard work at their Winsor Park home. That included moving the lawnmower outside of the shed to get ready for a nice lawn manicure. But before they could start the job, a burglar leapt into action looking for an easy opportunity.

“It appears someone kicked in the gate to the backyard, and then kicked in the door to our shed,” Barnes says. “The lawnmower had been sitting outside the shed, and it was an old one to boot, but they took it.”

Despite the burglar breaking in the shed, nothing more was take,n and Barnes was pleased the gate and shed door would require only minor repairs.

“In the grand scheme of things, we’re fortunate,” he says. “According to the police, there have been a number of shed break-ins in the neighborhood in the last few days.”

As for getting the yard cut?

“We’re going to have to either get a new [mower] or use a lawn service,” Barnes says.

Lt. Barry Payne of the Dallas Police North Central Patrol Division says criminals need only a few minutes to grab property and go, so it is important to always make sure property of any value is secure.

“The best way to keep something from being stolen is to secure it — even if you are only away from it for a few minutes,” he says. “A thief walking down the street has no idea whether a piece of property has been sitting in a front yard for two minutes or two hours. If he wants it and can get away with it, he’ll steal it.”

“Mr. Barnes appeared to have had good locks on his gate and shed but was victimized anyway,” Payne says. “That happens sometimes. All you can do is make the target as hard as is reasonably possible.”

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