KGUN9 Investigation: Burglaries in Tucson
Reporter: Jennifer Waddell
Web Producer: Rikki Mitchell
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - It's no secret that the Tucson Police Department is facing a tough challenge. KGUN9 has documented the cuts to the force that sometimes affect their ability to respond to some crimes. Some crimes, such as burglaries, just aren't that high on the list of priorities.
As I've been investigating strings of burglaries in Pima County, countless KGUN9 viewers have come forward to say, they too, have been the victims of crooks. Only these viewers living in the city where they have had to wait, some say as long as 27 hours, for an officer to show up.
Jeffery Boggs was at Reid Park Zoo with his grandchild when he came home and knew it had happened to him. "They had broken in through a back bedroom window, ransacked the master bedroom from top to bottom. They had turned on two eyes on the stove the house was full of gas."
Thieves broke into his west side home and stole more than three-thousand dollars worth of valuables. He waited eight hours for an officer to finally show up. Boggs told me of that response time, "I find it just totally unacceptable."
Robert Davis contacted KGUN9 to tell us his story which, at first, seemed unbelievable. His home in midtown was hit eight times in one month. He reached out to us hope we could get him answers as to why no one from TPD was contacting him to investigate. He turned over surveillance video, filed police reports, and still nothing.
I took the concerns from Boggs and Davis to Tucson Police Lt. Tom Early. He admitted that response times are not where they want them to be, but they can only do so much considering cutbacks. Lt. Early told me, "we're certainly aware that waiting 8 or 9 hours for an officer for anything, much less your home being broken into is troubling to people and it's troubling to us." A more acceptable time frame, according to Lt. Early, would be a 90 minute response to a crime such as a burglary that's already taken place. He told me a burglary "in progress" would get a faster response.
When I asked Lt. Early about the case for Robert Davis, he apologized and explained that there was a communication error in the reporting of his case. Basically, someone dropped the ball. But upon Lt. Early taking another look at all of the crime at Davis's home, he told me, "because of you I went down and looked at it today and I do believe that video is usable and we're going to assign that case and make sure it gets investigated."
TPD also turned over Davis's home surveillance video which you can see here. Lt. Early believes someone may notice the man seen in it, noting he has a peculiar walk.
Davis now has an open investigation and his security video is out there for everyone to see which makes him grateful.
Here at KGUN9, you ask and we investigate. This story and many other come to us from viewers who are concerned. In this case, it was for their safety.
We would like to thank TPD for working with us on this case and hope someone recognizes the man in the surveillance video so police can get him off the streets.