They shattered the glass and snatched the banjos.

The Victim: Collins Illich

The Crime: Burglary

Date: Friday, June 8

Time: Between 10:20 a.m. and 6:15 p.m.

Location: 5300 block of Northmoor

Collins Illich’s wife Katie is the banjo player in the family. She has two of the unique instruments and a banjolele – a banjo tuned like a ukulele that Illich gave to her on their two-year anniversary. The instrument takes skill and is something she really enjoys doing. Unfortunately, a recent break-in at their Caladium Club home left them with only one left, and quite a bit of frustration.

“Ironically, they left the nicest of the three banjos behind,” Illich said. “I am frustrated, angry, pissed off… just like everyone else.”

The burglar entered by breaking a glass door in the den, and tried to remove a TV from the wall with no success. The instruments and some pocket change were taken from the den as well as several items from the master closet and a dresser including three fishing reels, a Macbook Pro, some work documents, two watches, a gold ring, a necklace and more silver jewelry.

Immediately after the burglary, Illich began building a privacy fence in the backyard with the help of some friends. He and his wife also now have concealed handgun licenses.

“It is such an idiotic crime to me. They couldn’t have received much money for what they took while risking their lives and my family’s lives,” he says. “I do not get it. The cost benefit analysis does not add up. They probably worked harder for very little return on investment, than I do on an average day.”

Dallas Police Lt. Richard Dwyer of the North Central Patrol Division says wooden privacy fences can be double-edge swords.

“On one hand, it does keep people from wandering or passing through your yard and provide privacy for the homeowner. But, if someone has jumped over the fence into your yard, it prevents your neighbor from seeing that person prowling around.”

A fence can also prevent a police patrol checking the alley to see anyone in the backyard. If officers receive a call at a specific address they can check over the fence or check the yard if the gate is unlocked, he says. Homeowners can also look at security through natural environment, Dwyer says.

“If you don’t have small children or a dog, a set of roses bushes, the type with thorns of course, that back up to the fence add beauty and can deter someone from thinking about jumping into the yard.”


| crime numbers |


Date when an unknown suspect crashed into a resident’s brick wall in the 6900 block of Chevy Chase and fled the scene, causing $1,000 worth of damage


Approximate value of the jewelry and clothing stolen from a guesthouse June 30 in the 10600 block of Strait Lane


Number of times a man was stabbed in the chest during a drug deal June 29 outside an apartment in the 4100 block of Harvest Hill; the victim was taken to Medical City Hospital with two pierced lungs and survived


Source: Dallas Police Department