What took police so long?

May 14, 2010 9:23:38 PM PDT
Burglars ransacked a Houston woman's home, taking electronics, cash and even food from the fridge. It happened in southwest Houston earlier this week in an area where police say there's been an increase in burglaries. But when the victim called 911, it took hours for officers to show up.

It was not the home Monica Allen wanted her daughter, Krystal, to see as she came home from college for summer break.

"My daughter called me," said Allen. "I'm shaking and rushing and my boss is like, 'OK, just calm down.'"

Monica rushed home from her job at Lakewood Church to find everything turned upside down. What wasn't stolen was broken or simply a mess.

"Stuff that was precious to my boys. You take it, for what?" said Allen. "I work really hard."

They even took the diabetic's insulin syringes. And a broken window showed her exactly where they made their grand entrance.

So Monica called 911 around noon on Tuesday. She waited, called again and waited.

"My daughter called once and I called the other three," said Allen.

When we arrived, she was still waiting.

"Nobody came out to see what's going on. Let's try to find the person. We still have daylight," she said.

Police say a burglary call coming from a home like Monica Allen's is certainly not a top priority, but it should not take four and a half hours for a patrol officer to respond.

Our cameras were rolling when a patrol officer arrived around 4:30 in the afternoon. And a captain at the southwest patrol division admits that is far too long.

"That's excessive and we are taking extra steps to make sure it doesn't happen again," said Captain Mark Fougerousse.

Fourgerousse says an officer was on his way to Monica's home after the initial call at noon, but was redirected for a higher priority call involving weapons while she was on a waiting list. The captain says an officer should have been pulled from special assignment.

"And have them help respond to the calls that are pending, especially burglary and robbery," he said. 'Those are very serious crimes and we want to get there as soon as possible."

After crime scene officers processed the scene at her home, she received an apology.

"Once he did come out and explained to us what was going on and he apologized, I feel a lot better today," said Allen.

With the locks changed and the the house cleaned up, Allen is beginning to feel safe again.

A special team has been assigned to the area around Allen's home to help decrease those crimes.


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