The burglar took all the electronics – even the phones.

Like many computer users, Terri Dates had recently become a Macintosh convert. She loved her new Macbook that she had just purchased a few months earlier. She had decided to buy a Mac, imagining its ease of use and speed booting up and connecting to the Internet. The idea of not having to worry about computer viruses also appealed to her.

“It’s so much faster,” Dates says. “My old PC was two or three years old, and it was slow. With this Mac, there’s no delay.”

Unfortunately, her Macbook is now gone, the work of a burglar who ransacked her home.

“I came home from work and found the door wide open and the door frame broken,” she says of the day of the burglary. “They got all my electronics, but they left they TV. It was too old, I guess.”

The frame was smashed, and splintered wood covered the entrance to the home. Dates did not enter the home, fearing the burglar might still be there, and called police. Police arrived quickly, she says, praising their efforts.

“It’s nice to know we have such good police response,” Dates says.

Along with her Mac, the crook got away with a drill, software, a Dell laptop, a printer, iPods, jewelry, phones and more – well over $6,000 in property.

Despite the loss and frustration, she chooses to look on the bright side. The Christmas presents she had bought had been shipped to relatives, her dogs were not home to run out the open door, and no one was hurt during the break-in. The family has also added a security system to help prevent burglaries.

“I am glad I wasn’t at home when they kicked in the door,” Dates says. “I just lost things — everything can be replaced.”

Lt. Gloria Perez with the Dallas Police Northeast Patrol Division says police often are able to catch thieves by the initial response or covert work.

“A quick response can help catch a burglar or thief. We also have covert officers out in the field driving in unmarked vehicles,” she says. “A witness will call 911 and report it. Information is gathered from the witness to help us catch and file cases with suspect information. Covert officers can watch suspects without being noticed and can tell marked elements when to come in and make arrests.”

Perez says the police department’s “Operation Identification” program can also help theft victims in case of burglary or theft.

“[The program] encourages people to engrave or permanently mark their valuable property with their driver’s license or Texas ID number. This is done as a means of identifying and recovering stolen property.”

She also recommends homeowners to record manufacturer names and product serial numbers.

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