MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A homeowner said he was disappointed by the Miami-Dade Police Department's handling of a recent burglary at his home.
Neighbors said they spotted two crooks in the victim's backyard Thursday in northeast Miami-Dade County and called police. By the time officers got there, they told them at least one was still inside.
But the homeowner, who did not want to be identified, said police never went inside his house and cleared the scene. He said he later returned home to find one burglar still inside.
"The flat screen TV, the computer is not here -- so that's a complete mess," he said.
The homeowner said he received a call from police that his neighbors believed two people may have broken into his house.
"They scared one of the guys away. There was another guy that was apparently inside, according to the neighbors, but the police didn't want to check on the house," he said.
According to the homeowner, police told him he didn't have to worry about coming home right away, but that they did find a broken window in the back.
He told them he didn't remember if that had already been that way, so police said they left after looking in the windows and checking to see if the doors were locked.
But when the homeowner got back around 9 p.m., he started to survey the damage and got quite a surprise.
"I just heard noise. I didn't hear the guy myself, but my neighbor came shouting, saying, 'Are you OK? Are you OK?' -- trying to call me because she saw the guy run out," the homeowner said.
The homeowner called police again. Officers came back to the house, took another report and left for a second time.
The homeowner said he had to call police 1 1/2 hours later when he found the burglar had not only taken a pair of his shorts, but had left behind pants, a cellphone and a wallet.
But detectives never came to get those items until after Local 10 News reporter Ian Margol showed up four days later.
"Do you feel like they don't care about this neighborhood?" Margol asked the homeowner.
"I don't want to jump to premises, but I was living in the Gables before and I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have taken so much time," he said.
Margol asked Miami-Dade police whether it is normal for no officers to be there when a homeowner gets back after a burglary. He was told there is no hard and fast rule on that, but that the homeowner didn't request an officer to be there when he arrived home.
Still, the homeowner said he wishes the officers had done a better job of checking the home and actually going inside, since there were obvious signs someone had broken in.