After four hour wait for Dallas police, woman finds ride to headquarters to report stolen car

DPD accused of failing to answer the call of duty

A Dallas woman says she's disappointed in the long response time she experienced from police after her car was stolen Sunday.

Deborah Stephens was working her evening shift at the CVS near Walnut Hill and Central Expressway. 

"A man walked in, he wanted to use the phone," said Stephens. "I walked away to help another customer for just one second, and apparently he saw my keys on the counter, and he grabbed them and he clicked to see which car it was."

He sped off in her 2012 dark brown Buick Enclave. Stephens says she called 911 around 6:49 p.m. and waited.

"It was over an hour and my boss said you need to call again," she said. "So I called again."

Then a third hour went by. The CVS closed at 10 p.m., so Stephens had a friend drive her to Dallas Police’s Northeast substation to file a report herself.

"You know, I have the utmost respect for the police department, because they do protect us," said Stephens. "But when you call for help, you want help!"

DPD says it regrets Stephen's wait, but at the time of her call, there were other higher priority situations in need of response. Sources tell News 8 Stephens' call was a Priority 4, or non-critical call, which covers disturbance, theft, burglary and criminal mischief. DPD's goal is to respond in 60 minutes or less. Stephens' first call was put on hold, and wasn't dispatched to an officer for 4 hours. 

Monday at Dallas City Council, DPD said its response times for all levels of priority calls are up this year from last. This as the department struggles with staffing issues. Stephens says she continues to wait for a detective to give her a call.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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