The porch furniture vanished.

Jeff Venable and his wife enjoyed the furniture on their front porch. The shady area made for a nice afternoon of relaxing with a glass of wine and some time outdoors in their North Lakewood home. As darkness approached, Veneable regularly would light a couple of Tiki torches to provide some extra light and help keep mosquitoes at bay.

“We used to sit out and watch everyone walk their dogs,” he says. “Rather than sit out back behind a fence, we would sit out front and watch people go by.”

The couple had gone to several outdoors stores to find just the right furniture to fit their porch. They chose a couple of metal rocking chairs, and had them painted the perfect shade of sage green.

On Nov. 16, Venable followed his normal routine, catching the bus for work. He noticed the furniture was in its usual place on the porch before he headed off.

“I came home [at 4:30 p.m.] and we had a naked front porch,” he says. “It’s always annoying that someone would come onto your property and take something.”

The Venables have not yet replaced their furniture, but plan to do so in the future — with more security.

Lt. Gloria Perez with the Dallas Police Northeast Patrol Division says this type of crime is not very common, but she recommends locking all pieces of furniture together or bringing them inside after use.

“Unfortunately anything left outside, be it porch furniture, lawn furniture or lawn equipment, if it is easy to take, it will be taken,” she says. “Keep the area well-lit and provide any foliage that can provide a barrier from potential thieves.” —SEAN CHAFFIN

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