Tallahassee, Florida- August 23, 2012
by Julie Montanaro
A quick stop at the post office turned out to be a big headache for a Tallahassee hairdresser. A burglar busted her car window and stole her purse. She claims the police told her they were too busy to respond.
Melanie Walker couldn't believe that a burglar would smash her window and steal her wallet at 10:30 in the morning at one of the busiest post offices in town, but someone did. It happened at the Centerville Road station Wednesday.
"I called TPD because that's never happened to me before and I thought the first thing you should do is call the police," Walker said, "and I was instructed to go to their web site and file a report and they told me not to worry about someone coming to the scene because they didn't have someone available."
Walker's friend couldn't believe it either, so he called back.
"They told me that what they were doing was suicides, homicides, car wrecks and would not be able to respond and they had four waiting." Joey Bazzell said.
They ended up calling the Leon County Sheriff's Office. Walker says the deputy dusted her car for prints, checked the post office for surveillance video and gave her a fraud packet with information on what to do about her stolen license and credit cards.
Walker says she would have gladly waited for a Tallahassee police officer but no one ever offered to send one.
"Maybe it just happened so frequently they just know my purse is gone and they're just not able to worry about that," Walker said.
"Is that okay?"
"I don't think so. I mean I understand that they're very busy, but it was ... I really expected someone to come out. I feel like if people aren't being investigated or being caught or if no one's even looking for these people when they're smashing out windows and taking property then they're just going to keep doing it over and over because they're in danger of getting caught."
Tallahassee Police declined to comment on camera for this story.
Spokesman Dave Northway says TPD offers on line reporting as an option, but will send an officer if requested as soon as one becomes available.
Northway says if that did not happen it was a mistake.