The crook dumped the lawnmower in the creek.

The Victim: Tom Wesson
The Crime: Burglary
Date: Monday, Aug. 9
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: 400 block of Cavender

Tom Wesson has lived in Oak Cliff for two decades. His roots are in our neighborhood, and he runs a business here — Wesco Construction.

“We do a lot of reconstruction on the older homes over here in Oak Cliff,” he says. “We’re working on a house right now that was built in 1929.”

Wesson loves his work, and loves the area. Unfortunately, despite tight security, his own home in the Beverly Hills neighborhood recently became the target of a crafty crook. Someone pried off a rear gate latch and then broke into his detached shed, making off with ladders, weed trimmers, two lawn mowers and three old air conditioning units, a value of $1,700.

Burglars also targeted Wesson’s home in 1996, and soon afterward he added a security system to his home and his detached office. This time, however, the thief hit the old building was not equipped with an alarm, Wesson says.

“It was somebody who’s been looking at the house,” he says.

Luckily, the suspect was caught and arrested shortly after the theft, and Wesson’s two lawnmowers were returned. One had been dumped in a creek bed near his home. The other mower was also found nearby. The other stolen items were not found. The suspect is believed to have been involved in other crimes as well, Wesson says.

“I can’t believe they found them and got them back,” he says of his mowers. “The police officers were really good.”

Despite the crime, Wesson’s opinion of his neighborhood hasn’t changed.

“What are you going to do? You can’t live in fear or move just because someone did something that’s not so nice.”

Dallas Police Cmdr. Vernon Hale of the Southwest Patrol Division encourages residents to make sure detached sheds have adequate lighting and a motion sensor light, if possible, to help prevent break-ins. As to why criminals might dump their loot?

“I certainly cannot answer for a crook, but it could be that they did not start, too heavy, they were spooked by patrol officers — a variety of issues,” he says.

Hale also recommends residents etch their driver’s license number or other identifier on larger outdoor items to assist with recovery.


Date when someone pried open the door to a residence and stole several valuable items


Number of belongings taken from the home, including two video game consoles, three televisions and a laptop


Estimated total value of the items stolen

Source: Dallas Police Department