The Victim: Eric Samuelson
The Crime: Burglary of a motor vehicle
Date: Sunday, March 20
Time: Between 6 p.m. and 8:30 a.m.
Location: 9600 block of Queenswood

The window and dashboard were broken.

What may be a minor crime can often be quite a headache. Sometimes it’s the aftermath of a crime that can cause someone the biggest problem.

Take Eric Samuelsen for instance. Samuelsen is a guy who needs his truck. He works hard running his own business repairing and restoring old furniture.

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“It keeps me busy,” he says.

His work is also the type in which a sedan or car just wouldn’t work. He has to haul furniture and supplies to and from his shop to his customers’ homes. His 1997 Ford pickup is a huge part of his business. So on March 20, a run-of-the-mill car break-in turned into quite a hassle for him as a small businessman.

“I opened the garage door, and I immediately noticed glass near the driver’s side door,” he says. “They specifically broke in to steal the stereo.”

That stereo, he says, would barely fetch a few bucks at a pawn shop, but the damage to his car (including the dash and window) would have cost him $2,600 if he did not have full-coverage insurance. And thankfully, he says he always takes valuables out of his car, so nothing else was stolen.

“It’s crazy,” he says. “I was angry, but there’s nothing you can do about it.”

The biggest issue with the theft, however, was that he temporarily was without his truck while it was being repaired.

“I do work in customers’ homes and in my own house,” he says. “Being without the truck for a week was pretty rough. If you’ve got furniture to go pick up, it makes it really tough not having your truck.”

Dallas Police Lt. Mackie D. Ham of the Northeast Patrol Division says Samuelsen is smart in removing valuables from his vehicle.

“Burglary of motor vehicles is one of our top property crimes in Dallas,” Ham says. “Property crimes account for over 80 percent of our overall crime. We stress at every opportunity for citizens to not leave anything of value where it can be seen.

“Most criminals who wish to break into vehicles just walk around looking into the vehicles until they find something of value. There is a very good chance that if there are no valuables inside of a vehicle, your vehicle will not be targeted.”

For stereos, Ham always recommends removing a faceplate if possible. Criminals target anything of value that they can easily sell or pawn, Ham says, and stereos make easy targets.

“Most criminals need cash to support their drug habit. This is why they are out committing daily property crimes.”