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Police Refuse To Respond To Burglary In Progress

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Andrea Lucia
Andrea joined CBS 11 and TXA 21 in September 2010, one day befo...
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FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) – When a thief rammed through the wall of Leroy Reber’s business, at 4 o’clock Sunday morning, the alarm company sent an alert to his cell phone.

Reber, the owner of DFW Wholesale Security and Electronics, dragged himself out of bed and checked the surveillance cameras from his home computer.

A surveillance expert, Reber, has 36 cameras watching every inch of his 1,000 square foot shop.

“I saw a vehicle backing in,” he said.

Cameras caught the SUV smashing through bricks and glass, in an apparent attempt to access the electronics inside.

“He thought he could steal something,” said Reber.

When Reber dialed 911, though, an operator told him there was nothing police could do.

“They said, ‘Are you at the store?’ I said,’No, I’m at home, watching it.’ They said, ‘Well, we’re not pulling up a valid permit for this address, so we can’t dispatch. And I said, ‘But there’s a break in going on right now. ‘ And they said, ‘But we’re not allowed to dispatch’,” recalled Reber.

Fort Worth Police say the permit for Reber’s security alarm had expired.

The city of Fort Worth began requiring permits back in 2004, in an effort to cut down on false alarms.

“The Chief or authorized designee (i.e. Communications Division) shall refuse police response to any alarm notification from an alarm site that does not have a valid permit,” reads the ordinance.

It makes exceptions, however when the alarm notification is “a duress call, a hold-up alarm, a panic alarm, or a report to 911 emergency telephone or to the police department by a person other than an alarm company.”

Police say they are still reviewing this specific call to make sure guidelines were followed.

Reber said, as he raced to work Sunday, police tried to pull him over for speeding and he lead them to the break-in instead.

Despite the thief’s efforts, he never made it inside to steal anything.

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