No Phone Can Mean No Help for Crime Victims

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCDFW.com
    Two victims of a recent violent home invasion in Dallas’ Oak Lawn neighborhood said the thefts of their cell phones left them with no way to contact police.

    "Call 911 in an emergency." It sounds simple, but it gets a lot more complicated when your phone is stolen.

    Two victims of a recent violent home invasion in DallasOak Lawn neighborhood said the thefts of their cell phones left them with no way to contact police.

    No Easy Way to Call Police When Phones Stolen

    [DFW] No Easy Way to Call Police When Phones Stolen
    "Call 911 in an emergency." It sounds simple, but it gets a lot more complicated when your phone is stolen. (Published Monday, Oct 26, 2009)

    “I look up, and there is a man walking through my bedroom door with a gun pointed at me saying, 'We have your friend downstairs,'” said one of the women, who asked not to be identified.

    She said another man was holding a gun to the head of her friend, who was downstairs lying face down.

    “I begged for my life: 'I have an 8-year-old son. My son needs his mother. Please don’t hurt me,'” the other woman said.

    The men stole money, jewelry and the women's cell phones. Without a landline in the apartment, the women had no way to get help.

    “We go to the Dallas Police Department Web site, and there is no way to get in touch with anyone," one of the women said. "You need a phone, and we didn't have any phones because they had taken all of ours."

    They had to get into a vehicle and drive to find help.

    “It’s definitely an instant age, a technological age, and emergency services need to step up and get into this age,” one of the women said.

    As it stands now., the only way to report a crime is by calling 911, Dallas police said.

    “Police have historically been behind the times when it comes to technology,” Lt. Andy Harvey said.

    While the department has recently embraced Twitter and Facebook, there is still no way to report crime in real time via computer.

    “We understand more and more cell phones are being stolen, the iPhones and expensive phones,” Harvey said. “We need to look at ways people can communicate with us other than cell phones.”