The burglars stole both mirrors. Would they have seven years of bad luck?

The Victim: Tony Jeffrey
The Crime: Auto accessory theft
Date: Sunday, July 17
Time: Between 5 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.
Location: 6100 block of Royalcrest and other locations in area

In recent years, thefts from vehicles, including accessories and other property, has declined in Texas and that also includes Dallas County. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Crime in Texas Uniform Crime Report, instances of such thefts dropped to 261,166 in 2010 from 272,791 in 2009 (which had been an up-tick from 259,705 in 2008).

In Dallas County, these thefts dropped to 34,135 in 2010 from 38,938 in 2009 (which mirrored the state up-tick from 2008, when there were 38,730 instances).

Despite these trends, when a theft happens to you, it is more than just another statistic — it’s personal. And it’s usually quite a hassle.

Tony Jeffrey recently found this out firsthand — and similar cases took place in his neighborhood within a day or two of the crime.

“[The car] was at our house, and according to policemen, there were several people who had this happen at the same time,” Jeffrey says. “On the passenger side, they stole the entire mirror and casing. On the driver’s side, they just took the mirror. Whoever it was, someone knew exactly what they were doing.”

His Chevy Suburban is perfect for hauling around his kids, but getting the car repaired put it out of commission for a bit — a real inconvenience. The whole ordeal, Jeffrey says, was a pain. His insurance company said they had received reports of five similar cases in the last few days, including missing mirrors, rims, tires and seats.

Dallas Police Lt. Richard Dwyer of the North Central Patrol Division says 26 incidents of outside vehicle mirrors being stolen have been reported in his division since June 1, and most were taken off some type of SUV such as a Yukon, Denali or Escalade.

“These types of offenses spike higher in the summertime than wintertime due to the ability to remove the mirror in warm temperatures versus when it is freezing. Usually there is more than one suspect committing the crime. One suspect will actually remove the mirror and another will act as a ‘good-eye’ to prevent being spotted.

“It is extremely difficult to recover this property unless the owner can identify his through markings or engravings. Parking in well-lit places is the easiest thing to do to help prevent this type of theft, as well as an alarm system on the vehicle.”

Question of the month

Q: Dallas Police has reported a 48 percent overall drop in crime since 2003 although residential burglaries are up. What types of crime have been declining and why?
A: Crime at North Central has declined significantly through the last few years. For this year, residential burglaries have evened out and are slightly down for the city and the North Central Division as compared to last year (January through September 11). Two categories that have seen significant crime decreases this year are burglaries of motor vehicles (BMV) and auto theft. The decreases can be attributed to a variety of factors such as the increase of officers hired in the last few years, auto-related initiatives, technology improvements, increase in community involvement in crime fighting efforts and education programs such as “Lock, Take and Hide”.

—Jesse Reyes, North Central Division Police Chief

Crime Numbers

4

Aggravated assaults along the west side of Central Expressway between Forest and Northwest Highway

7

Vehicle burglaries near Inwood Village shops at Lovers and Inwood

2

Individuals robbed at Forest and Marsh

SOURCE: Dallas Police Department crime stats for Aug. 13-Sept. 13


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