Man credits alarm for preventing third home burglary

WICHITA, Kansas – Tom Hentzen and his wife were having a normal Monday morning until he got a phone call while they were on their daily walk around 9:00 Monday morning.

The person on the other end of the call told him their home on the 1800 block of West Dallas Street, near Pawnee and Meridian, had been broken into.

“When we got to the house, the door was open, we walked in and the policeman was here, and he said that the door was open when he got here,” Hentzen said.

Hentzen and his wife left the home around 7:30 Monday morning to go have breakfast. Then they went for their daily walk, which was interrupted by word that someone forced the front door open. They tried to get back home as quickly as possible, but were delayed by a train blocking traffic, before finally arriving back home.

Thankfully for Hentzen, nothing was taken from the home. The police officer who responded said it was likely the home’s alarm that scared off the suspect, Hentzen said.

“We’re very fortunate,” Hentzen said. “Thank God that we didn’t lose anything. Just thank the Lord that they got scared away, whoever they were, because that alarm goes off, big time.”

But this is only the latest burglary attempt on a three-block stretch of homes on Dallas Street. A similar break-in happened a month ago at a home on the 1700 block of W. Dallas, in which a suspect made off with a jewelry box. Like the attempt on Hentzen’s home, it happened while the residents were away running errands in the morning hours. In both cases, the residents were elderly. The first of the attempts happened in January at a home on the 1600 block of W. Dallas. Police are investigating whether the incidents are connected.

In the meantime, while some residents are posting flyers on their doors saying they are armed, others are getting security systems and installing motion-sensor lights to protect themselves.

“[We’re] very scared when we come home because they don’t mess around anymore,” Hentzen said. “They don’t mind shooting you or hitting you in the head or anything.”

Anyone with information on any of these cases is asked to call Wichita police.

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