While Homeowners Are Away, Thieves Will Play

Police say burglars are targeting Devonshire homeowners who are on vacation

Dallas police said burglars are targeting homeowners on vacation in Dallas' Devonshire neighborhood between Northwest Highway and Lovers Lane.

According to police records, more than 20 homes in Devonshire have been burglarized within the past six months. Three of burglaries occurred in the past week.

Police said nearly all of crimes happened while the homeowners were out of town.

"I don’t think they want to have conflicts with people," victim David McLane said. "They want to go where no one is there."

Police said they believe the burglars ring doorbells in Devonshire late at night, looking for signs that no one is home. When they don't see lights flicker or hear motion in the house, they help themselves to thousands of dollars in diamonds, designer watches and high-end handbags.

The McLane family recently returned from their vacation to find their closets and their cabinets turned upside down.

"I was terrified, because I didn't know if they were still in the house," Elizabeth McLane said.

"My laptop box was on my bed, (and) all my clothes were thrown everywhere," she said. "It was just a complete mess."

But unlike most home break-ins, the thieves aren't after big items such as flat-screen televisions, police said.

"I noticed it was things they could carry," McLane said. "And it wouldn’t be too noticeable to people around the neighborhood."

Dallas police said they have stepped up patrols in Devonshire. But investigators said they are encourage homeowners to be careful who they share their travel plans with, as well as ask a neighbor to check on their home several times per day.

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