Letters to the Editor

Des Moines police disappoint burglary victim | Letters

About the middle of June, I returned home from a great trip abroad. Normally one looks forward to returning home after a busy trip and much traveling. But not this time, not for me.

You see, early in June my son had the unenviable task of calling his 65-year-old father, who was overseas, and telling me that someone had broken through my backdoor glass slider and took my widescreen TV. I discovered later that they also took my deceased wife’s jewelry box, a box of checks, and also a few other things.

I can accept the occasional loss. This is just part of life. But the exact same double-pane glass door had been broken through about a year ago, and my widescreen TV was taken then too.

Some may wonder why I don’t just get a security system? Unfortunately, in my case, a monitored system would end up costing more in a year than what the things taken were worth.

But it isn’t just the replacement cost. It’s the feeling of: how can I now leave home and have some degree of confidence that my home and belongings will still be intact when I return?

I’ve lived in this same house in Des Moines for 33 years. I once had a lot of confidence in the Des Moines Police Department. Unfortunately, this has changed over the past year. In the first incident a year ago, no fingerprints were taken. And as far as I know, no one was questioned, even though there was a suspect.

This time the reporting officer left his card on my kitchen counter. He wrote on the back that all he wanted to know was whether anything else was taken besides the TV set.

I felt like calling him and inquiring about fingerprints and questioning witnesses. A woman who was feeding my cat told someone I was gone. I know this man whom she told, and I don’t put it past him to be involved in this.

But from my previous experience, I saved my breath. I have little doubt it would have fallen on deaf ears. The Des Moines Police Department apparently has more important issues to deal with than my trivial matters.

But aren’t the police there to come to our aid when we need them? Are they not supposed to try and make us feel safer in our homes? And what about when one is coming home from a great vacation? Don’t we want to look forward to returning home instead of dreading it?

Of course if there had been a dead body in my living room, things would have been different. And if I was the one responsible for this dead body, I wonder who it is that would end up behind bars?

So I guess I’m a little disappointed. Disappointed in a police department that just doesn’t seem to care about this man’s problems.

I have to wonder, is it even worth replacing the TV? Why, so it can just be stolen again by the same thieves who probably took it both times? Is it too much to ask that the police ask me who I think might be involved, and then interview a couple of witnesses? Apparently it is too much to ask.

Larry Ebaugh, Des Moines


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