True Crime: Garage break-in

Bob Forner moved into his home in 1986, and burglars broke in within the first six months.

The Victim: Bob Forner
The Crime: Burglary
Date: Monday, Nov. 1
Time: Between 1:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Location: 100 block of Briscoe

The door was wide open.

Bob Forner moved into his home in 1986, and burglars broke in within the first six months.

It had been 24 years since that crime, and the recent burglary of his home was just as strange.

That first burglary back in 1986, he says, was a bit more concerning because the suspect entered his home, but left with only a bowl of loose change and a pair of binoculars. More than two decades later, a burglar sought out his garage.

The “people door,” as Forner calls it, into his detached garage had been was kicked in, damaging the doorjamb.

“I had gone out for a late lunch with a friend,” Forner says. “We had gone out for some shopping. I pulled into the garage at 4:30, and the door into the garage was open. I thought that was very strange. They must have hopped the fence, and then used bolt cutters on my gate.”

Forner was expecting that the thief had gotten away with more loot this time around; his garage contained quite a few expensive tools. But all that was missing was a 30-year-old circular saw.

Though the saw was old, Forner says he still used it on household projects and repairs. He believes he may have disturbed the burglar as he was pulling into the garage because many more modern and valuable tools were left behind.

“It bothered me,” he says of the recent burglary, “but I was glad no one entered the house. If they only stole a 30-year-old saw, I think I’m pretty lucky.”

Forner says he has already repaired the door — and bought a nice, new saw.

Dallas Police Sgt. Monica Avila with the Southwest Patrol Division says it is important to make it difficult for burglars to see what’s stored inside detached garages.

“If the structure has windows, covering them from the inside is a great start. You can spray paint them white, or you can put up a layer of white plastic material,” she says.

White is recommended because it is opaque, and yet it allows sufficient light during daylight hours.

“Burglars want to know what they’re getting,” Avila says. “If they can’t see what’s inside your garage, their risk of failure is increased. Making it hard for burglars is one of the key security measures to get them to move on and look for an easier target. However, some won’t care, which is reason enough to make certain it’s difficult for burglars to gain entry into your residence or garage.”

Police also recommend using sturdy deadbolt locks and exterior security lighting with motion sensors for homes and garages.

800

Block of W. Ninth where police arrested 18-year-old Julio Hernandez in early December

12

Number of robberies Hernandez is accused of committing during mid-October

$1,200

Value of the items stolen during an armed robbery Nov. 28 at a MetroPCS store; the robber took $900 worth of cell phones and about $300 in cash

SOURCE: Dallas Police Department


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