Philadelphia burglary victim alarmed over slow police response

NORTH PHILADELPHIA - November 11, 2010

Ashley Wilkins found a horrifying mess when she got home from work yesterday.

Her house had been trashed by burglars.

"They took, literally, everything out of every drawer in my room and threw it on the floor. They went through every crevice of my house," Wilkins said.

The burglars took four televisions, two computers, two video game consoles and various other electronics.

And they found the gun Ashley keeps for protection.

Ashley thought she was protected by her ADT burglar alarm.

The burglars set it off and ADT called the police.

But, the burglars ripped the alarm off the wall, and spent almost an hour in the house.

"This is nothing compared to my upstairs. So, they were in here for a long period of time," Wilkins said.

Police records show they got the call from ADT at 11:40 a.m. They arrived at the home at 12:30 p.m., 50 minutes later. And when they got here, Ashley says they weren't very nice.

"The police officer that was here was very rude. She didn't want to help. She just didn't care," Wilkins said.

Ashley says she got more help from her neighbor, who also called the police when he heard noises and caught the burglars in the act.

"So, I happened to look down and I seen people moving televisions. So, I yelled to them what you doing?" neighbor Michael Vessels said.

The burglars scrambled, but by then Ashley's house was cleaned out.

She pays a monthly fee for the burglar alarm and $50 a year to the city, which covers two false alarms.

But, this was the real thing and Ashley wonders what she's getting for her money.

"To be told by the police that it wasn't of importance and it doesn't take precedence. It doesn't pay to pay for this service if they're just going to disregard it," Wilkins said.

The police say burglar alarms are a "priority three" call and there may have been more pressing emergencies when Ashley's alarm sounded.

They say they'll be investigating to find out why it took 50 minutes to respond.

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