The house was a ransacked disaster.

Cindy Perez was returning from work in the afternoon. She carpools, and a woman in her pool had to use the restroom. The woman borrowed the house keys and headed inside, as Perez chatted with friends outside.

She didn’t remain in the house for long, however. Right after entering, the woman “ran back outside and told me, ‘Someone has broken into your home,’” Perez says.

Perez says the crook removed a pane of glass from a large window in the back of the house. Inside, the home was a mess with a mattress overturned in her bedroom and drawers dumped out on the floor.

This is the third time her home has been broken into, but says there has not been as much crime in her neighborhood lately.

“It was a disaster,” she says. “I guess they were looking for money. I just wasn’t expecting it. Things have been much quieter around here lately.”

The thief was able to get away with $4,300 in valuables including two DVD players, a car amplifier, a laptop computer, and a 42-inch big screen television.

Dallas Police Deputy Chief Rick Watson of the Southwest Patrol Division says crooks strike a house quickly looking for anything of value — and often that involves turning over drawers.

“They ransack the house. They’re looking for valuables that they can take,” he says. “Burglars most of the time commit their residential burglaries during daytime hours because most people are at work.”

Watson says one way to secure windows is by drilling a hole in the frame, and using a small nail to prevent the window from being pushed up from the outside. Residents also can use a wooden rod between a sliding window and the frame to prevent windows from being opened, Watson says.