Real Estate Story
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Photo courtesy Lara604 via Creative Commons

With the fresh start of January, take the next two weekends to make the rest of the year run more smoothly. These nine tips will save you time, energy, and money, and make you feel better about where you hang your hat every night.



1. MAKE BETTER USE OF YOUR CLOSETS

While this is not a photo of my closet above, it almost could be. Come January every year, and my closets tend to be a mishmash of clothes from all four seasons, piles of give-aways that I haven’t gotten around to giving away, and just general wrecks of disorganization.

Start the new year by decluttering a closet. Pick just one and organize with vengeance over one day (trust me, you’ll appreciate the major improvement in a short time). Save, sell, donate, or chuck everything in there, then vacuum, neaten, and dust. Job done!

2. TAKE A PHOTO INVENTORY OF YOUR HOUSE

If, God forbid, your house is ever burglarized or there is a fire, having photo records of the interior and all your possessions will make the insurance process infinitely easier. I speak from experience here: my house was burglarized a few years ago, but I had taken the time to snap photos of all my art, electronics, and jewelry and put it on a USB drive, which was locked in a file cabinet. I was so glad to have done so. Today, I store my photos in the cloud on Dropbox, which is even more convenient. Jump to read the next seven tips!

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Photo courtesy Lara604 via Creative Commons

Photo courtesy Lara604 via Creative Commons

With the fresh start of January, take the next two weekends to make the rest of the year run more smoothly. These nine tips will save you time, energy, and money, and make you feel better about where you hang your hat every night.



1. MAKE BETTER USE OF YOUR CLOSETS

While this is not a photo of my closet above, it almost could be. Come January every year, and my closets tend to be a mishmash of clothes from all four seasons, piles of give-aways that I haven’t gotten around to giving away, and just general wrecks of disorganization.

Start the new year by decluttering a closet. Pick just one and organize with vengeance over one day (trust me, you’ll appreciate the major improvement in a short time). Save, sell, donate, or chuck everything in there, then vacuum, neaten, and dust. Job done!

2. TAKE A PHOTO INVENTORY OF YOUR HOUSE

If, God forbid, your house is ever burglarized or there is a fire, having photo records of the interior and all your possessions will make the insurance process infinitely easier. I speak from experience here: my house was burglarized a few years ago, but I had taken the time to snap photos of all my art, electronics, and jewelry and put it on a USB drive, which was locked in a file cabinet. I was so glad to have done so. Today, I store my photos in the cloud on Dropbox, which is even more convenient. Jump to read the next seven tips!

(more…)

Small Car Door Key Lock

An act as simple as locking a car could prevent a tremendous amount of theft in the Park Cities. Though there’s no accounting for whether thieves are clever enough to take the real valuables.

Let’s play a game called “Who Was Stupider?” Your choices are the victim and the perpetrator in a crime that happened between 6 p.m. on Oct. 21 and 7:45 a.m. on Oct. 22.

Here’s the case for the victim, a resident of the 4000 block of Miramar Avenue: Not only did she leave her gray 2007 Lincoln Navigator unlocked overnight, but she left the key to the vehicle in the console. She also left her $3,500 Chanel purse in the car, which contained a $1,200 diamond bracelet and her $500 Prada wallet.

Here’s the case for the perp: He stole the wallet – which held three credit cards, two debit cards, a health insurance card, and a driver’s license – but he left behind the much-more-valuable purse and bracelet. He also passed up the opportunity to steal the Navigator.

Of course, he had plenty of other opportunities that night in Highland Park. The following incidents all happened that same evening, and all of them involved unlocked vehicles:

  • Between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m., a thief stole an $800 black Trek bicycle from a driveway in the 4700 block of Drexel Drive. The thief also rifled through a white 2008 Mercedes in the same driveway.
  • Between 9:30 p.m. and 7:15 a.m., a burglar entered a black 2014 Cadillac Escalade in a driveway in the 3600 block of Crescent Avenue and stole a $300 pair of DGBG sunglasses, $150 worth of Gap girls’ clothing, and a $100 bottle of Romance cologne. The burglar also entered an unlocked side door on the house and tried to remove a wall-mounted 40-inch Panasonic television. The door was left ajar.
  • Between 6 p.m. and 7:30 a.m., a burglar entered a 2008 Lexus LS460 beneath a porte-cochere in the 4000 block of Miramar Avenue and stole a $5,000 ostrich briefcase that held a $600 iPad.
  • Between 11 p.m. and 7:30 a.m., a burglar entered a black 2014 GMC Sierra in the 3500 block of Euclid Avenue and stole a Sony laptop, a Tenba computer bag, and $50 in quarters. Because the police were at his house, the victim also reported that his white Trek bicycle was stolen from his garage between May 11 and Aug. 10.
  • Between 10 p.m. and 11 a.m., a burglar entered a 2011 Chevrolet Suburban in the 3900 block of Euclid Avenue and stole a $350 gold cocktail dress that had been purchased from Neiman Marcus so recently that it was still in a plastic bag and bearing a price tag.

Click through for last week’s other residential crimes in the Park Cities:

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Have an SUV with third-row seats? Park Cities police officers suggest either parking in a locked garage or locking down those seats with a device like this Xtra Lock bar.

Have an SUV with third-row seats? Park Cities police officers suggest either parking in a locked garage or locking down those seats with a device like this Xtra Lock bar.

The theft of third-row seats from SUVs has been termed a “vicious circle.” Burglars steal the seats and sell them to dealers, who sell them back to the victims, who reinstall them in their vehicles, which are then potentially burglarized again.

This has been a problem for years in the Park Cities and the surrounding areas, and the trend ramped up again this month:

  • Between 5 p.m. on Oct. 5 and 4:30 a.m. on Oct. 6, a burglar pried open the rear window of a gray 2012 GMC Yukon in the 4600 block of Livingston Avenue and stole the third-row seat.
  • Between 4 p.m. on Oct. 9 and 8:15 a.m. on Oct. 10, a burglar pried open the rear window on a silver 2010 GMC Yukon in the 4500 block of Southern Avenue and stole the third-row seat.
  • Between 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 10 and 7 p.m. on Oct. 11, a burglar pried open the rear window of a black 2007 Chevy Tahoe in the 4600 block of Edmondson Avenue and stole the third-row seat.
  • Before 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 12, a burglar entered a gray 2007 GMC Yukon in the 4300 block of Amherst Avenue and stole the third-row seat as well as $1,500 worth of Titleist golf clubs.

Police advise SUV owners to lock the seats down with cables and park their vehicles inside locked garages. Of course, many people in the Park Cities opt to park on the streets, as you’ll see if you click through for a roundup of other recent crimes.

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Carolyn Isler

I know police and safety experts (and our alarm company) say you should never confront a burglar, but you know what? I still think Caroly Isler is a badass for taking down the 53-year-old dude who tried to rip her off. Here’s part of the report from Park Cities People:

She heard a commotion and ran to the office, where she found the burglar. He tried to get past her, but she grabbed his arm and yelled, “Stop! Get down!” Isler also grabbed the back of his shirt and tried to push him down.

“He managed to get out the door,” she said, “and I was still holding on to him, and after maybe 5 to 10 feet, I was able to get his arm really high behind his back, and I pushed him forward and pushed him down on his knees.”

Given the struggle, Isler was unable to dial 911. But her neighbor, who just graduated from college, happened to be outside, so she called for help.

“When I had the guy down, and I couldn’t dial 911, I’m like, ‘Now what am I going to do?’ ” Isler said. “That’s when it started to hit me, like, ‘What are you doing?’ You know what I’m saying? That was the first time that reason kind of set in.”

I definitely don’t have the cojones to do what self-professed tomboy Isler did, but wow! What a woman! Glad you’re safe, Carolyn, and thanks for the tip about burglaries, too. I forgot that thieves often target homes in the morning around 9 a.m. because most folks are commuting or doing drop-offs.

Have any other safety tips for us, readers?