Miguel Martinez didn’t think things could get worse after a burglar broke into his Bucktown home and walked away with a suitcase full of thousands of dollars in electronic devices. But then a lack of response from the police only served to compound his already frustrating situation.
While Martinez took his dog to the groomer on March 18, a man broke into his home in the 1600 block of N. Bell St in Bucktown by breaking the basement window.
“They took laptops, Xboxes playstations, all the video games,” Martinez said. “Anything that was electronic, they took.”
When he returned home at around 1:15 p.m., he called the police. An hour later, an officer arrived to file a report, telling him the evidence team would be by in an hour. Three to four hours later, Martinez said he called the Chicago Police Department again to ask when an evidence team would be arriving. The new set of officers arrived at approximately 11:30 p.m.
“After they came, they told me that they were told they would be the first people on the scene,” Martinez said. “And they were not the evidence team, and that I would have to wait a little longer for the evidence team to come, and that there was nothing they could do about it since I already had the report.”
Fearing for his family’s safety that night, Martinez began to clean and board up his home at around 1 a.m., trying to leave any shred of evidence for the police untouched. The following day, he called the police, and the responding officer who arrived once again was not part of the evidence team.
The officer told him a detective would call in five days. A week later, Martinez called the department again, leaving his assigned detective a voicemail. No response.
“Afterwards, I get nothing. I call back about five more times in the last three weeks, and still nothing. I’ve left five voicemails,” Martinez said. “Absolutely nothing has happened.”
“I’m still waiting for an evidence team if that’s the case,” he added. “I mean, I don’t know how much they can get.”
Martinez told officers he had security footage with a clear view of the burglar and an iPad with GPS location enabled. They told him to wait to turn over his information to the evidence team.
“I’m incredibly frustrated,” he said. “Imagine if this was a police officer who got his house broken into. Would he be waiting three weeks for a detective just to call him?”
Martinez estimated the stolen items were worth a little over $20,000, with two MacBooks, a PlayStation 3, an xBox 360, an iPad, about 40 video games, and more.
“I don’t even know what to do at this point,” Martinez said. “I have everything to give them and they’re giving me nothing back.”