Living in fear: Repeat burglars force family to abandon home
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
Reporter: Marcelino Benito
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - It's the one place in the world where you should feel safe. Your own home. But as 9OYS has reported for weeks, for more and more of you, it's a place you're starting to fear. Burglars are breaking in. Tucson Police is taking hours to respond. It's gotten so bad for one woman she may soon have no choice but to move.
"This is bad, this is really, really bad," said Vicky Weber.
Weber's house has become a target, not once, twice but three times since March.
"I'm running out of things for them to steal," Weber said.
It's why Weber reached out to 9OYS. She says she's fed up with TPD's slow response times.
"They don't seem to want to figure out what happened and who did it and make it not happen anymore," Weber said.
The first time they broke through a window. Twenty-two hours later, TPD finally shows up. Fast forward a few months, the thieves strike again. This time they came across the wrought iron. She says TPD's response was shocking.
"Don't know when we're going to be there," Weber said. "Don't know when we're going to be there."
She decided to cancel the 911 call hoping it wouldn't happen again. It did.
"I've always thought the police were there to help us and now for the third time in a row, I find out they can't help me at all and that creeps me out," she said.
Then last Wednesday, the crooks got even more creative. They hopped over the fence, clipped the cable lines, worked to bend through the iron bars just enough to squeeze through, then slid through the doggy door. Inside Vicky found pieces of hotdogs all over. It's what they used to keep the dog quiet.
Cleo, her 14 pound dog, is still shaken up by the intruders.
"I'm afraid if they come back, they'll kill her," Weber said.
Once inside the house, the thieves knew exactly what they were looking for. Vicky says the thieves tore down the wall to get a hidden gun safe. They took everything inside including six handguns and an AR-15 assault rifle.
"We thought because they'd taken an AR-15, they'd be a little more interested," said Weber.
Instead, she just got two forms to fill out.
9OYS reporter Marcelino Benito asked Weber if she's frustrated with TPD's response. She replied, "Yes, with their response and more importantly with their seemingly lack of interest."
To be fair, Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villasenor does say he's listening and interested. In an interview back on November 9th, Benito asked Villasenor if 8 hour wait times were acceptable to him. He replied, "Of course it's unacceptable. But the reality is we're working with 180 less officers."
Weber says that's all she hears from Tucson Police.
"That's what I hear everytime, that they're short staffed, that they can't help," she said.
Weber tells 9OYS she's tired of hearing that answer. She says something has to change. TPD needs more help.
Benito asked Weber if it the rash of break-ins makes it difficult to continue living in her home. She said, "I'm moving, I'm not living here anymore. I'm going to leave. Third time's the charm. I'm really sad. I've lived here all my life."
Her sense of security shattered. For 22 years she's lived in that home. Now, it's something she says she has to give up.
"Will there be a fourth time?" asked Benito. She replied, "I think there's one more time. We have enough left for them to come back one more time."
And that's her biggest worry, time. She wonders how much time it will take if it happens again.
9OYS did this story because of you. Remember, if You Ask. We Investigate. Call 290-7726 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.