Glass shattered, then an ear-piercing alarm.

The Victim: Steve Overby
The Crime: Criminal mischief
Date: Tuesday, Feb. 12
Time: Between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.
Location: 8500 block of Bacardi

Steve Overby had been fast asleep in his Highland Meadows home when the crime took place. A criminal had smashed the driver’s side window of his pickup truck, which was parked along the street in front of his home.

“There wasn’t anything of value visible to entice them to break in,” Overby says. “The police think it may have been their intention to steal the truck.”

But in this case, his car alarm probably saved the day. The alarm wailed and woke up two sets of neighbors, who promptly went outside and saw the car with a door open, but no suspects in sight.

A neighbor then came to the Overby house and rang the doorbell to tell him what had happened. The homeowner is grateful for his neighbors for alerting him; otherwise the door, which opened toward the street, might have been hit by a passing motorist in those early-morning hours.

At first, Overby had been hesitant to report the crime, but was convinced by his neighborhood crime watch leader to contact the police and report the incident several days later.

Dallas Police Sgt. Keitric Jones of the Northeast Patrol Division says car alarms increase the likelihood of detection of apprehension of criminals, and even alarm stickers or signs often serve as a deterrent. And as in this case, watchful neighbors also can make a difference.

“Neighborhoods that have a strong sense of community and watch out for each other,” he says, increase “the likelihood of the detection and apprehension of criminals.”