No alarm permit? No police, frustrated business owner says

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by MONIKA DIAZ

WFAA

Posted on November 4, 2012 at 11:43 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 5 at 10:56 AM

FORT WORTH — Leroy Reber stood in front of his Fort Worth business, staring at the damage a criminal left behind. Repairs are estimated to cost more than $10,000.

"I will survive it, but it sets a small business owner back a whole lot," said the owner of DFW Wholesale Security.

But for Reber, the damage doesn't end there.

He is also disappointed with what happened after he said he called Fort Worth police during an  overnight break-in at the business on West Berry Street that he was watching with remote surveillance cameras from his computer at home.

"They came back and said, 'We can't dispatch because we don't have an updated alarm permit on file with you from the city, so we can't send anybody,'" Reber said.

The business owner said he told the dispatcher he was watching the criminal activity as it happened. The system recorded a black SUV pulling up to the location.

Seconds later, the driver hit the gas and repeatedly slammed into the front door. A metal gate kept the would-be intruders from making off with any merchandise.

Alarm permit or not, Reber told News 8 officers should respond.

"They said the can't come out because they didn't have my $50 fee on file," he said.

Fort Worth police sent News 8 a statement in response:

"It's unfortunate that someone burglarized his business and we feel terrible for his loss. The verified alarm response program saves taxpayers from the expense of officers responding to false alarm calls which over time can be very expensive to our residents. That's why its important to keep permits up to date so that we can respond more effectively."

Reports show police later responded to the incident, but Reber claims that happened after he broke the law trying to get to the scene. It was an unnecessary risk he feels no citizen should have to take.

"I put myself in jeopardy," Reber said. "I ran every red light to get here, because I knew nobody was coming to help protect me or my property."

Fort Worth police said they are investigating the break in.

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com

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