West Dallas Businessman to Call it Quits Over Unsolved Crimes

Tire store owner has called Dallas police 13 times in past three years

By Ken Kalthoff
|  Friday, Jul 12, 2013  |  Updated 7:21 PM CDT
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A Dallas tire store owner says he's frustrated with police response to repeated crimes at his business and he'll close his business at the end of his lease. A UTA criminal justic expert defends thethe Dallas Police Department's response times.

Ken Kalthoff, NBC 5 News

A Dallas tire store owner says he's frustrated with police response to repeated crimes at his business and he'll close his business at the end of his lease. A UTA criminal justic expert defends thethe Dallas Police Department's response times.

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A West Dallas tire store owner is giving up after a string of unsolved, closed police cases.

"It's not secure, this area," Mohamad Abushaaban said.

Records confirm that Abushaaban called police to Bargaining Tire on Bernal and Hammerly drives 13 times in the past three years, the latest on Friday.

Two vehicles on the property were burglarized and several tires were stolen overnight, he said.

The tire store is across Bernal Drive from Pepe's Grocery, where Dallas police responded to an armed robbery in progress call more than an hour later in early May.

At the time, police said a 911 call-taker had trouble understanding statements about a "robbery" because of the Asian caller's accent.

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Abushaaban said police had also been slow to respond to some of this complaints and that nothing had been done about any of them.

Records obtained by NBC 5 for the 12 cases before Thursday show that none were solved but all were closed.

"I think they're supposed to do more than that, really," Abushaaban said. "They know this is bad neighborhood."

The records showed response times ranging from five minutes to 50 minutes, but none of Abushaaban's crime reports were as high a police priority as the armed robbery in progress would have been at the grocery store across the street.

Lt. Paul Stokes declined comment on the department's contact with Abushaaban.

Randall Butler, director of the Center for Criminal Justice Research and Training at the University of Texas at Arlington, said closing unsolved cases is common.

"It's not unusual to North Central Texas or anywhere else in the country. This is pretty standard way things are done," he said.

Butler said relatively minor crimes without violence or solid evidence get a lower priority for police.

"Typically, the police are caught between a rock and a hard place," he said. "They want to protect and serve -- the common phrase -- but at the same time, they can't be everywhere and can't be all things to all people."

Abushaaban wants more police patrols around his neighborhood, but Butler said research shows it is not an effective solution.

"Conclusively, police presence does not reduce crime," Butler said.

The expert said the tire store should have video surveillance to help catch and deter perpetrators.

Abushaaban said police have also told him to add cameras and a much better fence around his business -- measures he said he can't afford.

"I have two months to end my lease," he said. "I'm not going to renew it, and I'll try to move my merchandise somewhere else."

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