A man’s home is his castle, and one popular defensive tool is the security camera. “This guy broke into our car, left his phone in the car, and now has the nerve to come back and ask for his phone back. Then threatened to kill us,” wrote one resident of Park Drive East last Wednesday. “Called the police over an hour ago and they aren’t here yet! Who do we reach out to about this terrible response time?”
The resident’s car was in his driveway and his wife was home at the time. “It was 2:48 p.m. He tried to open the car, and found a package which had a set of Rambam inside. He was not interested and then left.”
A half hour later, the burglar returned, after realizing that he forgot his phone in our car. He first approached the next-door neighbor and then the car owner’s housekeeper. “He was begging my wife that he did not want to go back to jail. It was 3:48 p.m. and she was calling 911.”
“The operator may have put it as a Code 22, which means a crime in the past, which is a low priority,” said Meshulam Lisker, who lives nearby and met with the resident to discuss the burglary. “But she was speaking with the operator while he was still there. Thank G-d that he was not a violent criminal. But no one knew that.”
The police arrived an hour and a half after the call, in order to write down the description of the burglar. “We were told by the detective that there is a warrant for his arrest relating to an earlier crime, but they would not release his name,” said the resident. “After threatening us, he ran towards Willow Lake.” As the police did not release the suspect’s name, the homeowner does not wish to share his either, as the suspect is at large.
For the remainder of the evening that the attempted burglary occurred, as well as the following night, volunteers from the Queens Shmira kept watch at the home.
In response to his Facebook post on the incident, Councilman Rory Lancman and Assemblyman Daniel Rosenthal called him, offering to follow up with the 107th Police Precinct. “Our understanding is that the 911 dispatcher made the mistake of calling it a car break-in, a low priority. We’re working with the police to find out what happened,” said Tim Thomas, Chief of Staff for Assemblyman Rosenthal. “We have a good relationship with the precinct. As of Friday, the precinct knows who the individual is; but as it is an investigation, the name is not being released.”
On both ends of the 911 call, the conversation was recorded and is being investigated on why it was not given greater priority. When speaking to an operator, one must not exaggerate the crime, as reporting a false incident is a crime in itself. At the same time, one should convey the urgency of the matter with details that would ensure that the case is given priority by emergency respondents.
By Sergey Kadinsky