The Victim: Amy and Burton Brilhart
Date: Friday, Feb. 26
Time: Around 6 a.m.
Place: 5300 block of Richard Avenue

The clock read 5:57 a.m. when Amy Brillhart first heard some noises from her second-floor bedroom.

“I heard some people on my front porch – what I thought was boxes being moved around,” she says. “Then I heard them drop one last box, and when they dropped it, the house alarm went off. I think that’s what scared them off.”

Brillhart, a pharmaceutical rep, had been busy and left about seven boxes of promotional items on her porch for a few days.

“The boxes were from a pharmaceutical company, filled with giveaways and stuff like like,” she says. “I don’t know if they maybe thought there were drugs in there…”

Whatever the perpetrator(s) thought was in the containers, they were eager to get at it. They’d ripped a flagpole of the Brillhart’s porch and used it to beat the boxes open.

The boxes didn’t contain any drugs, and so those behind the crime left almost all of what was in the boxes scattered on the Brillhart’s porch.

“When I peaked out my window, all my boxes were just torn up and all over my front porch,” Brillhart says. Then she looked closer, and what she saw scared her even more.

“I could see they’d used the flag pole and tried to break the window. I could see where they chipped the glass. You gotta know that at 6 a.m., the chances of you running in to a homeowner are pretty great. So that part’s kind of scary,” she says.

But, for the most part, she doesn’t feel that she and her husband are any greater danger than before the incident.

Two nights after her packages were looted, two of her neighbors had bricks thrown through their front windows, she says. “And that same weekend, some bars were broken into on Greenville,” she adds. “So at first I was little more nervous, but when I heard about those incidents it made me think it was maybe just a little crime wave.”

Officer Keith Allen of the Central Patrol Division confirms the packages left on porches are not stolen very often. Still, he says, he recommends that, if possible, people not have packages delivered to their workplaces instead of their homes.

And, he adds, this is another instance in which knowing your neighbors can make a difference.

“If you’re not going to be at home,” he says, “it’s great to have a neighbor identified that can take custody of those packages so they’re not left out there as a target for criminals.”

Brillhart says she’s learned a couple of lessons from her experience. First, she instends to improve her home security.

“I’m going to probably have my [security] system upgraded. And I’ve even considered cameras,” she says, adding: “Yeah- I’m not playing around.”

And will she be bringing those boxes indoors sooner in the future?

“Yes I will,” she says without hesitation. “And actually, I really knew better than to leave those out there.

“I’ll be a little more cautious.”

Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lakewood/East Dallas.