Big Investigation and Audio

"Our stolen belongings sat in the rain for hours as we waited for police"

CREATED Oct 3, 2011 - UPDATED: Oct 3, 2011

  • Print

MILWAUKEE- Rachel and her husband came home a couple of Octobers ago to find their house had been broken into. As they nervously entered the house, they actually saw a man climbing out a broken window with some of their belongings. The burglar was handing things to another man in the yard. Once they were discovered, the two men fled.

Rachel says they called 9-1-1 immediately. She says she made it clear that the burglars were in the house when they arrived. "I was nervous that they might come back. They had seen us, and they knew we would be able to identify them," Rachel told Wisconsin's Afternoon News with John Mercure.

Police told the couple to sit tight. "Don't touch anything, they were told. It began to rain, with all of their electronics sitting outside. Their computers, TVs, DVD Players, iPods, etc were sitting in a pile getting soaked. The rain came into their house through the broken window," said Rachel.

The couple waited. And waited. And waited. "It was terrible. We were cold. Our stuff was getting ruined, and we felt like we had to sit tight," Rachel told me recently. Two hours turned into four hours. Four hours turned into six hours. Six hours turned into eight. Eight hours! When police finally showed up, all the belongings sitting in the yard had been ruined.

Police tried to take fingerprints. Rachel says they were told that no prints could be recovered from their items because those items had been sitting in the rain for so long. "That was it. We never heard back from police at all," Rachel says. "To this day we still don't know if anyone was ever arrested."

What Rachel and her husband did know was that they wanted to move out of Milwaukee. "This was the straw that broke the camel's back," Rachel says. "I knew we needed to live some place where we would feel safe. Crime can happen anywhere, but how a Police Department responds to crime says a lot about the quality of that department."

Rachel and her husband have moved to Wauwatosa. And by the way, Rachel tells me that her car was recently broken into there and police showed up within five minutes of being called.