The back door was kicked in.

The Victim: Allen Watkins
The Crime: Burglary
Date: Between Wednesday, Feb. 15, and Friday, Feb. 17
Time: Between 4 p.m. (Feb. 15) and 4 p.m. (Feb. 17)
Location: 1600 block of Hollywood

Allen Watkins lived in Oak Cliff for 28 years. He recently sold his home and moved out of the area, but still owns a house on Hollywood that he rents.

“Right now, people are having a hard time getting loans, so there is a lot of rental activity,” he says.

After his tenants recently moved out, Watkins began readying his house to lease again. While he says he’s a bit too old to do all the work himself, Watkins supervises. He added new paint inside and tile in the kitchen. The house has wood floors throughout and was looking much better after the remodeling.

“It was a mess after the previous tenants moved out,” he says. “We just about had it finished.”

And then someone saw an opportunity. Watkins and his workers decided to leave their tools inside the home until they had the last bit finished inside. After leaving, someone kicked in the door and stole more than $3,000 in tools. Every tool in the home was stolen.

Watkins says he was frustrated by the burglary and also about having to repair the door and door jam after putting so much work into the home and it almost being finished.

Dallas Police Lt. Gil Garza of the Southwest Patrol Division says home remodels and empty homes can be problematic in terms of protecting property.

“We see items from tools, air conditioning units, and appliances taken from empty locations.”

Garza recommends removing tools everyday if at all possible, or renting a secure storage container that will make it difficult for others to take property or tools. Asking trusted neighbors to look after the property also can be a great help in preventing crime, he says.

Crime Numbers


Total amount of money stolen during a burglary at Bolsa Mercado March 10 in the 600 block of West Davis; the suspect shattered the front glass door to gain entry after hours.


Date when an assault occurred at Family Dollar in the 300 block of West Jefferson after the suspect attempted to shoplift items and then punched a female employee in the face after she confronted him


Number of people hospitalized after a car was sideswiped in the 200 block of South Zang; the other driver fled the scene


Source: Dallas Police Department