The window was smashed, and the tools were gone.

Stephen McClelland is a manufacturer’s rep selling tools. He keeps several products with him as he meets with clients, convincing them to stock his company’s latest line of tools. Unfortunately, a thief recently saw the tools in his car as an easy target and made off with $650 worth of equipment.

“Somebody smashed the window and stole some tools that I didn’t have covered up,” McClelland says. “That was my own mistake.”

The car had been parked in his driveway. McClelland says it’s frustrating to have to replace the rear driver’s side window and the expensive tools.

“That’s the first time I’ve been broken into,” he says. “You feel violated and frustrated … whether they need drugs or something else, they shouldn’t break in and steal your things.”

Lt. Gloria Perez with the Dallas Police Northeast Patrol Division says tools are frequent theft targets when left inside the bed of a truck.

“People in the contracting and construction business are often targets because they carry expensive tools, and most of the time they are unsecured in the bed of their truck because they use them often,” she says.

“This makes it easy for the tools to be stolen, because witnesses just think the suspect taking the tools is a worker. But if the tools were secured, witnesses would see the suspect breaking into the truck and would know to call the police.”

Perez says residents should lock cars and hide belongings that might tempt a criminal such as purses, laptops or a GPS.