Glug, glug. The beer was gone.

The Victim: Patti Monzingo
The Crime: Burglary
Date: Wednesday, Dec. 14
Time: Between 7 a.m. (Dec. 14) and 5 a.m. (Dec. 15)
Location: 10400 block of Robindale

Over the holidays, Patti Monzingo had been out celebrating at a Christmas party. Those in attendance brought an interesting gift and each person had a chance to steal. At the end of the exchange, she ended up with a 12-pack of non-alcoholic beer. She placed it on the top shelf of the refrigerator in the detached garage of her Lake Highlands North home.

The beer would soon be gone before a single bottle was opened.

“Its absence was very noticeable,” she says of realizing it was missing on the morning of Dec. 15.

Also stolen was a weed eater and expensive bottle of tequila. Monzingo believes the thief must have thought the beer from the gift exchange was real because he left other non-alcoholic beer behind. From what was stolen, she thinks it may have been the work of teenagers.

Monzingo works as a swim coach at The Greenhill School and for Dallas Aquatic Masters. She also offers swimming lessons in Lake Highlands. Monzingo says she is a very trusting person — something that proved unfortunate in this situation.

“I never left my garage door locked,” she says. “There was nothing out of place in the garage. They did, however, rearrange things in my refrigerator like they were looking through it. It’s mostly just rotten to think someone came into my ‘inner sanctum’ and felt free to take from me.”

When she first moved in three years ago, Monzingo had a water hose and hose reel stolen. She had also been robbed while in college. And while the monetary value may have been small in this case, Monzingo says she has learned her lesson and is locking her garage door and has both backyard gates locked. She has two children and needs to make sure they’re safe, she says.

Dallas Police Sgt. Keitric Jones of the Northeast Patrol Division says leaving a garage door unlocked not only can lead to becoming a burglary victim, but also may lead to future burglaries.

As for grabbing the “near beer” and tequila, Jones notes: “Criminals often grab whatever is available. If there is potential for pleasure or profit, criminals will take the advantage of the opportunity.”


Crime numbers

01.12

Date when someone stole cash, candy and cigarettes from the 7-Eleven in the 8400 block of Park Lane in an aggravated robbery.

$7,000

Worth of remote-controlled cars stolen during a burglary at Hobby Town USA in the 8000 block of Walnut Hill

20-40

Estimated number of men who assaulted 17-year-old William Eroe Jan. 7 in the Sports Authority shopping center at Walnut Hill and Central Expressway, reviving rumors of gang activity around NorthPark Center, which police later debunked.