Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Wow. The excerpt below is from a Dallas neighborhood newsgroup- infuriating. Citizens trying to do the right thing and a system failing at every step.

[A Dallas neighborhood] has been home to SW Bell/ AT&T for over a decade. In that time, it has been broken into an averaged out ratio of nearly once a month. They have a property enclosed with a cyclone fence with their copper wire etc. laying out in the open 24 hours a day...a candy store for crack heads, we call it.

Two Saturdays ago, Rich awoke to some noises at 4:00 a.m., went outside to see some guys breaking into AT&T. They'd cut open the fence and were pushing gigantic coils of cable thru the fence. Rich yelled at them, they hid on the inside while he called 911.

He gave 911 the name and type of the business, the nearest intersections, a full description of an on-going burglary, but the 911 operator said she needed an exact address. He explained the thieves were inside a compound at St. Paul and Kelly Streets, that he didn't have a street address. If he left, they'd get away. She told him she needed an address, an exact address.

Still holding the guys inside, Rich tried 911 again in hopes of getting someone to respond...
only to get the same operator saying the same thing. Get the address and she'd send help. He explained again, that if he walked around to get an address, she wouldn't need to send the police because the creeps would run. Still no go, so he walked around to give her the address only to come back to an empty lot. What a surprise.

Enormous amounts of huge cable sat at the cut-through, stuff that would take two and three guys to haul. There it sat.

While mowing this weekend and cleaning the perimeters of our property, Richard noticed the sun hitting something under the notorious Harwood bridge. Again, what a surprise; the bazillion pounds of cable from AT&T. He called 911. They asked him " what do you want us to do about it?" and " There's no metal detectives on duty until Monday."

A attorney is moving into the neighborhood. He asked about this particular challenge we face, and this was my reply:

Dear Jeff,

I've met with AT&'s on-site head guy, nicknamed Tiny (he's huge!) a couple times. They won't get a dog because they say it violates their insurance, won't get a guard because it costs too much. They used to get hit 3-4 times a month when "Strawberry" was selling drugs in the house next door. They'd just add more prison wire and more lights. We met with a couple of men from their corporate office who said they'd had it up to their eyeballs but didn't know what to do. Dog? guard? move the metal? Again, it all fell on deaf ears.

AT&T had to go to the City to get rezoned to move that facility here. If Planning and City Council would have known it would attract this much crime, I don't believe it would have ever been approved. I don't think any of us would mind seeing them go.

Isn't that sad? Frustrating, too. The big corporate neighbor has deep enough pockets to shrug off monthly break-ins by ne'er-do-wells, but it's the folks who have invested in the neighborhood and who live there 'round the clock who really pay the price for having a lowlife magnet like free copper wire in the area.

And 911 won't respond to an intersection given? What if there was a dead body? Would they blow that off, too? I mean, they had the chance to catch the criminals red-handed -- what makes this ok? I'm baffled.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

That is one of the most bamboozling things I've heard all day. Really the only adequate response is WTF.

Anonymous said...

I'm reminded of the story of the man who called 911 when some kids were breaking into his shed. The dispatcher told him that the nearest responding car was at least 30 minutes away. He hung up, waited a minute and called back: "This is Mr. Smith again, there's no hurry on that police car, I just went out to the shed and shot 'em all". Within three minutes he had 2 patrol cars, the armed responce unit and an ambulance in his front yard. Once they'd sorted everything out and had the young burglars in custody, one of the officers said "I thought you said you'd killed those kids". The homeowner replied "I thought you said you couldn't get here for half an hour".


Anonymous said...

Sounds accurate, for DPD.

Two suggestions:

Call 911, tell them 'I just shot a burglar at (intersection) and I need an ambulance". Then hang up.

Second suggestion: Claymores.


Tickersoid said...

It's a cancer, after a while people stop reporting crimes, consequently the crime figures go down.

shooter said...

Why create more trouble for you if you call 911 and say you shot someone. Just call them up and say one of the 'tards is waving something at you that "looks" like a gun. That should get a response.

phlegmfatale said...

barbara - it amazed even me

joe allen - fantastic story, but I'll bet I'd get arrested for lying to 9-1-1 if I tried that

rabbit - I'm all for the claymore option

tickersoid - Wow, great observation, and so sad

shooter - Good point. *L*