AUSTIN (KXAN) — A woman claims when she tried to report a vandalism in her northeast Austin neighborhood, she says police wouldn’t come to her home and take a report.
The first-grade teacher, who didn’t want to be identified, said she now worries about her family’s safety. On Sunday, the woman noticed that the windows in the home next to hers were smashed in again.
KXAN confirmed that she called 311 to report it as vandalism and was told she would get a call from Austin police. The woman did talk to a non-emergency call taker who asked if she were authorized to report a crime at the home since it wasn’t her home that was vandalized.
The woman responded, “I was like ‘authorize me, I live right next door.’ What do they need to authorize for and she goes ‘you’re not the owner so we can’t take the report.'”
The house is being remodeled and the owners said the windows have been smashed in with rocks and concrete three times in the last two weeks.
A spokesperson for the Austin Police Department said Tuesday night that an APD non-emergency call taker did speak with the woman and because the call came in 18 hours after the incident, no officer was sent out right away. The spokesperson also said if someone had been living in the home, the response would have been different.
“When there is a report of intentional damage to property that is in progress or just occurred, officers will be dispatched to respond to the call for service. The officer’s response is dependent upon officer availability at the time of the call and the number of more urgent calls that are waiting to be dispatched,” said the spokesperson. But APD wanted to add that they take all calls seriously.
The homeowner said she also asked if an officer could patrol the area, but was told she needed to get in touch with a supervisor. Police say the operator was looking up the contact information for the appropriate district representative when the caller said “never mind, thank you and hung up.” The woman said at this point she had given up and didn’t want to be passed onto someone else.
“I think that they need to come out here and check out what’s happening,” said the homeowner. “If a citizen calls and requests some kind of help they should come out and check on it.”