40 minutes pass before police dispatched to active burglary at Detroit grocery store

Via Yelp user Redic G.
Via Yelp user Redic G.

It’s tough doing business in Detroit.

Take Lafayette Foods, a grocery store near downtown that has been robbed three times in the past month.

The latest robbery came this morning when two thieves in a vehicle slammed through the plate-glass windows on Lafayette near St. Aubin and stole a safe from the store’s pharmacy.

A witness quickly called 911 but police weren’t dispatched for about 40 minutes, Police Chief James Craig told WWJ.

“I’m not happy about this,” Craig told WWJ’s Vickie Thomas. “They crashed in and I understand that allegedly, because it’s still early in the investigation, but allegedly our communications center held the call for 40 minutes. That’s not our protocol… We prioritize our calls to service crimes in progress. So, there’s an expectation if there are no available units, that you find an available unit anywhere in the city.”

RELATED: Detroit police baffled after thieves break into cop cars outside of precinct

Craig said the department is investigating what went wrong.

Budget cuts in the bankrupt city have left the police department woefully understaffed, forcing some victims to wait hours for an officer to respond.

That is one reason the police chief encouraged responsible people to arm themselves in January.

A month later, Detroit homeowners shot and killed at least six burglars.

RELATED: Good Samaritan: Detroit holds arsonist at gunpoint until police arrive 

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

  • Krishna Zane Lopez

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  • 1Joshua

    Same old DPD. If there is a hint of danger, they will be very, very late.

  • A.L. Cadillac

    What went wrong? Laziness, stupidity, and incompetence. Welcome to the DPD, Chief Craig.

  • bebow

    Chief Craig doesn’t know his underlings fail to respond to citizens’ requests for service? Update: Drug and prostitution house still popping.

  • Anthony Rubens

    They will soon close just as Ye Olde Butcher shop closed on Woodward. Meh.

  • Bruce Channell

    This is why the cost of doing business in the COD is so high!Insurance for this particular store is going to be ridiculous because of these break ins.Pretty sad because this store is in a neighborhood with Lafayette Towers and other very nice apartment and co-op buildings!The last market that was located in this same spot didn’t last very long and this one just may decide it isn’t worth the cost and trouble to remain here!