VICTIM: Darren Dattalo
Between 7:30 and 11 p.m.
Thursday, April 28
5900 block of Goliad

About a month ago, 40-year-old Darren Dattalo’s neighbor chased a vagrant woman away from her home after she spotted the vagrant trying to break into a car. The woman came into Dattalo’s backyard, but then went away.

Then, the day before Dattalo’s home was broken into, he’s fairly certain he saw the same woman walking down the alley.

Dattalo describes this woman as unkempt, in her early 20s, about 5-foot-5-inches tall, small framed and thin with long brown hair.

Although he feels like she might have been the one who broke into his home, Dattalo admits he can’t be sure.

“I’ve seen this young girl milling around many times — very close to my house,” he says. “I’m fairly certain it’s the same person.

“But we don’t know where she stays,” he says. “There’s really nothing we can do.”

In the six years Dattalo has lived in his house, it has been broken into three times.

“It’s nothing new here, and it doesn’t really frighten me as much as the first time,” he says.

But what’s interesting this time, Dattalo says, is the fact that his car was parked in the driveway, the porch light was on, and the inside lights were on — all usual indications that someone is inside the house.

Dattalo had walked down to his neighbor’s house for the evening. He returned home about 11 p.m. and found that someone had pulled the trim off the back door and removed the glass without breaking it.

The criminal(s) took Dattalo’s DVD player, his VCR and about $10 in change — an estimated loss of about $200.

“I thought the lights would deter them,” Dattalo says, mentioning that after his previous break-ins he started locking the gate to the alley.

“This time around, I will be getting a security system.”

Officer Keith Allen of the Central Patrol Division points out that even though the stolen property may not amount to much, it is essential to have the police conduct a thorough investigation of the crime scene.

“One of the big tips we need to reinforce with all citizens is that we need our crime response unit to gather all evidence, including fingerprints,” he says.

Allen says retrieving fingerprints from the scene is important to connect crimes to certain suspects, such as in Dattalo’s case, and to make arrests and return the stolen property if possible.

In addition, Allen points out that the police offer free home security surveys, where they check points of entry, including doors, doorframes and windows to make sure they are as secure as possible.

In order to utilize this service, contact Allen at 214-670-0659.


The City of Dallas has launched an interactive mapping feature on its website that lets residents track different types of crime in their neighborhoods. Want to know how many homes were burglarized near you? Click here , then click on “Return to Main Layers List” and enter an address. Information is updated monthly.

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