True Crime #4

Spring brings green grass and lawn mowing.

But cranking up that old lawnmower will be tough for Troy Guidroz — his was stolen.

On St. Patrick’s Day, burglars broke into Guidroz’s wooden shed while he was at work, making off with his trusty Briggs and Stratton.

“I have a storage building in my back yard with a latch and combination lock. I guess they used a crowbar to pry off the latch,” Guidroz says.

Guidroz, who serves as his neighborhood crime watch captain, says the shed has a set of double doors, and the burglar pried one side open to get the mower out. The mower’s oil dipstick and cover fell off during the theft — left behind in the middle of the driveway.

“I’ve lived here two years and never had a problem. I have a security system for the house,” Guidroz says. “It’s annoying … [it was stolen] right when I needed my lawnmower.”

“It’s not a great financial loss, but you do feel violated,” he adds.

Dallas Police Deputy Chief Rick Watson of the Southwest Patrol Division says there are some keys to help prevent this type of crime, but also suggests keeping expensive mowers out of sheds and in a garage.

“It’s a challenge with respect to a shed,” Watson says. “The shed needs to be good, strong and durable, and you have to have a darn good lock, that’s the biggest thing.”

Sheds are common targets for thieves looking for an easy steal, Watson says. Locked rear gates are also keys to prevention, and a well-lit back yard can deter criminals form entering.

“The more you light it up like a football field, the better off you are,” Watson says.


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