NEW ORLEANS- Christie Thomas still gets chills watching on surveillance video an armed robber barge into her home, stealing her car and other belongings while she slept upstairs.
"I'm glad I didn't hear it. 'Cause I could only imagine what the outcome would've been if I would've walked down my steps and I see somebody with a gun in my house," Thomas said.
It all happened Saturday morning. Thomas' boyfriend noticed something odd downstairs.
"He came back upstairs about 20 minutes later and was like, 'Christie something is off,'" Thomas said.
Their back door was damaged. They also couldn't find her car keys, which typically sits on her counter top.
They walked outside and noticed her 2017 Black Nissan Maxima gone.
"I said, 'Where is my car!'"
Scratches on her boyfriend's car and the fence torn down made them run to their cameras and roll it back a few hours.
That's when they noticed an armed burglar on their property shortly before 5 a.m.
"See a guy walking down the street," Thomas said. "He has a gun, already cocked in his hand. And I'm like, you're in my house with a gun!"
Thomas said the thief grabbed her keys, opened the car door and looked around for a bit before taking off.
"Rammed right through the truck and the fence. Crossed the grass over the sewage draining system, down the street and gone," Thomas said.
Around 9 a.m., Thomas called the NOPD.
"Hour passed. Well you know, I said they might be busy, even though it's a Saturday morning. I don't hear any crime, I'm looking at the news," Thomas said.
17 hours later, the door bell finally rings. It's a new recruit and a field training officer.
"Two officers came to the door. Oh! You called 911. And I was like, "I did. SATURDAY AT 9:00. It's Sunday morning almost 2 a.m., but yeah, I did call," Thomas said.
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Eyewitness News reached out to the NOPD. They say the call was received as a "Code 1" call, which is not a high priority. They also say calls for emergencies in progress receive immediate responses.
Non-emergency calls and reports, police say, will have a higher wait time. Thomas says she understands they have a job to do, but waiting 17 hours is unacceptable.
"What's going to motivate me to stay here and continue to pay taxes....this will not," Thomas said.
See below for the full response from NOPD Spokesman Gary Sheets regarding the response time:
"It was was 17, not 22 hours. Please see below:
The call for the incident in the 4500 block of Camelot Drive was received and dispatched as a Code 1 call (routine call). The call was not a high priority call and did not require an immediate response. The supervisor on duty was notified the call was holding and the complainant called backed several times to notify she was still waiting. The call was received on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 9:07 a.m. The first unit was assigned on Sunday, Oct. 21, at 1:39 a.m. and arrived at 1:47 a.m. to investigate and document the incident.
All emergencies and in-progress calls receives and immediate high priority response. Emergencies impacting human life will always take precedent.
Non-emergency calls and report calls will have a higher wait time. In many situations, non-emergency calls can be handled over the telephone by the NOPD’s Alternative Police Response (APR) unit by calling 504-821-2222 , or by being filed electronically by the victim through NOPD Online (https://nola.gov/nopdonline/). The NOPD encourages citizens utilize this option when applicable. Due to call volume, there will be instances in which a report call will have a higher than expected wait time.
The NOPD discourages complainants from relocating to the district station to file a report because officers are not dispatched from the station. Officers are mobile in the field and the actual wait will be the equivalent as if they called from their home. Citizens can call the district station to find out the status of their call and to determine where they fall in the queue."