If this were a softball game, this crook would be thrown out.

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It was an early Tuesday morning and Charles Nolen discovered a rear passenger window of his car had been smashed. The car had been parked on the street in front of his home, and a quick-acting criminal grabbed his softball equipment and fled.

It was a pricey loss for Nolen. A softball glove and bag as well as a few expensive bats were stolen. With a loss totaling more than $1,200, it was a frustrating act of burglary for Nolen.

But this crime wouldn’t end up being a complete strikeout. A few days later, his equipment was returned – much to his appreciation.

“We got our bags back from the police,” he says. “They were in an alley in our neighborhood next to a trash can. A neighbor found them and everything was in there.”

Lt. Gloria Perez with the Dallas Police Northeast Patrol Division says residents should avoid leaving any items inside their car when leaving it parked overnight. Any items that cannot be removed from the car should be hidden inside. She also offers residents some helpful advice on parking cars in front of their homes.

“It is not a good idea to leave cars parked on a public street if at all possible,” she says. “Also, (always) lock your car, and any type of security system (alarm, a club, or engine cut-off switch) would be helpful.

“It is not uncommon to see this happen,” Perez says of Nolen getting his softball equipment returned. “If a burglar does not feel he or she can pawn the items, they will dump the property.”