ABILENE, Texas - It took more than two hours for police to show up to an Abilene man’s house after it was burglarized Tuesday, and he said the suspects would be behind bars if police had responded sooner.
But while Abilene police admit it was a long response time, they say not enough information was given to upgrade to a priority call.
Joshua Powers showed us around his home in the 800 block of North Danville. It was ransacked after he said burglars got in by kicking in a window unit.
“They got away with an Xbox 360,” Powers said. “They got away with a 55-inch LCD flat screen TV.”
He said they also stole a loaded gun, his tools, and his wife's jewelry, including her wedding ring. He said he's out about $8,000 in property and damages.
“I could see my cords hanging out of their pockets, my Xbox cords, my controller sticking out of the top of their pocket,” Powers said.
Joshua said he confronted three suspects in his alley and showed us on his phone when he first called police.
“Let's see, there's 12:12 [p.m.], that was the first phone call,” Powers said.
He said he and his wife called police several times but were told the call wasn't a priority.
“On a scale of one to ten on how frustrated I am, it's at a million,” Powers said. “How can you expect people to respect your police officers when you can't even show up?”
KTXS was there when an officer did show up at 2:18 p.m.
“My reaction to them showing up two hours later, it's a little bit late don't you think? The culprits already got away,” Powers said.
“Our dispatchers were not informed that these suspects had property on them,” said Assistant Police Chief Doug Wrenn with the Abilene Police Department.
Wrenn said there's conflicting information about what was reported to dispatchers. He said in general, certain factors can upgrade calls to higher priority levels, and those will get faster response times.
Wrenn did share his thoughts on Powers’ call.
“Certainly, the time from the original report to the time we get an officer to the scene was lengthy,” Wrenn said. “We're not happy about that at all, but to the dispatcher and the officer's defense, this was one of those busy days where they just couldn't break free.”
Wrenn went on to say the department appreciates any feedback from the community on ways they can improve.
The officer who responded to Powers’ home did take fingerprints and is writing a report.
Powers said he'll be checking local pawn shops for his stuff, but he doesn't have much hope he'll get any of it back.
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