The Victim: Tammy Brown
The Crime: Burglary
Date: Saturday, Oct. 3
Time: Between 7 p.m. and 3 a.m.
Location: 8700 block of Santa Claraead

An empty space remained where the TV once sat.

Tammy Brown enjoyed her Panasonic big screen television. It was a bit old, but was still nice for checking out the news and even a peek or two at the Texas Rangers run through the playoffs. The technology was a bit aged, but the TV still had a decent picture and sound. She had no thoughts of replacing it any time soon.

And then a burglar invaded her home. Brown now believes Facebook may have led crooks to target her Little Forest Hills home.

“I had gone out that night, and my son was out of town,” she says. “When I came in at 3 a.m., I noticed the handle to my gate wasn’t all the way down, so I thought something was wrong.”

The door seemed unlocked when she inserted her key in the lock. Brown knows the door was locked when she left home earlier in the day. The television was gone, along with her son’s computer monitor and a small safe in which he kept keys and other personal belongings. Amazingly, her laptop computer was left behind.

“They left my laptop, and it was right there next to the TV,” she says. “The worst part is that feeling that someone has invaded your personal life. It kind of makes you sick.”

This was the first time in 27 years that her home has been a target of crime. The family has given information to police about an acquaintance that they believe may have possibly been involved, and Brown says her son posted on Facebook when he would be out of town. That information might have aided someone in choosing her home to invade.

In the meantime, the family has installed new locks at the home, and also made a purchase — a new 55-inch crystal-clear television.

“It’s better than the old,” Brown says. “It is amazing how much technology has changed. It’s awesome; I love it.”

Dallas Police Lt. Mackie D. Ham of the Northeast Patrol Division says it only takes a short time for criminals to break into a home and be gone with property.

“Suspects that commit burglary are usually in and out in just a matter of minutes,” he says. “They usually have a vehicle close by, and all items are quickly loaded into the vehicles.”

As for posting your vacation or out-of-town plans on Facebook? Ham says this could be a recipe for a burglary.

“Never let anyone know you will be out of town, except for those very close to you. You need to have trusted neighbors that you can notify so that they can watch over your house while you are out of town. That is why you need to know your neighbors — so each can look out for the other, and know who can and cannot be at your house.”

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