Woman given 2x4 instead of locks to protect apartment from burglars

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A woman asked for new locks but was given a stick of wood to help protect her apartment from burglars (KTRK)

A woman says she's fed up with her apartment complex after her unit was broken into twice in just days.

Erica Gates recently moved into an apartment in east Harris County. After going on a trip, she came back to notice that someone had kicked in her door and stolen her furniture, her TV, and other valuables.

"Three of my purses were gone and all my tennis shoes were gone," Gates said.

The young mother called the sheriff's office. She then called the after-hours maintenance number for Northshore Meadows hoping they'd bring her new locks. Instead, the apartment complex offered another solution.

"He came with a 2x4 and told me to place in underneath the door," said Gates.

Gates took her son and left for the night. When she returned, she says the apartment had been broken in again. Now she wants out of her lease.

Eyewitness News tried to talk to the manager of the apartment complex. She told us to wait outside.

Eventually, the manager came back with a phone number to the trust company in Alabama that owns the complex. When we called that number, no one answered.

The Houston Apartment Association's Alison Hall says there is nothing in the standard lease that allows her an out due to crime. However, there are 6 safety devices like deadbolt locks apartments are required to have.

"A 2X4 is not a required safety device," Hall said.

Erica says management has stopped taking her calls. The Houston Apartment Association suggests filing a complaint with them online and perhaps it can help.
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