DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit’s top cop has launched an investigation after a call about a robbery in progress was put on hold for over a half-hour.
The whole situation unfolded early Wednesday morning when two thieves smashed a vehicle through the plate-glass windows of Lafayette Foods, located on Lafayette Street near St. Aubin Street. Once inside, the crooks stole a safe from the store’s pharmacy, which was full of narcotics.
A call was placed to police about a crime in progress, but officers didn’t show up until almost an hour later.
Police Chief James Craig told WWJ’s Vickie Thomas he’s outraged it took so long for his officers to respond to the scene.
“I’m not happy about this,” Craig said. “They crashed in and I understand that allegedly, because it’s still early in the investigation, but allegedly our communications center held the call for 40 minutes. That’s not our protocol… We prioritize our calls to service crimes in progress. So, there’s an expectation if there are no available units, that you find an available unit anywhere in the city.”
The entire crime was caught on surveillance cameras from a neighboring Laundromat. A manager who viewed the video said it took the thieves all of three minutes to get in and get out with the safe.
Craig said he’s launching an internal investigation into the delay, especially since this is the third time recently that Lafayette Foods has been robbed.
“I don’t know if [the owner] complained, but I’m complaining,” Craig said. “I’m complaining because there’s a crime in progress — well, the owner did mention, now that we’re talking about it, that he’s been a victim three times in a month.”
Police are reviewing the surveillance video in an attempt to identify the crooks. Anyone with information on the crime is urged to contact police at 313-267-4600.