Family upset over lack of police response - WNEM TV 5

Family upset over lack of police response

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

A local family is outraged after their vehicles were vandalized and calls to police ended with the alleged suspect walking free.

It happened at a Saginaw home late Wednesday night.

Erika Thomas and her family were awoken by the sounds of their vehicle windows being smashed in their driveway. They called 911, but claim they were told since it wasn't an emergency officers would not be coming.

Even after catching one of the alleged suspects themselves, they said police still refused to help.

"I look outside and I call for my husband and I'm like, 'they're breaking into the car,'" Thomas said.

It was a bizarre night for Thomas and her husband. They ran outside to the driveway of their home about 1 a.m. after hearing loud shattering noises.

Two of their vehicles were vandalized. The windows had been smashed with bricks from their own home.

"The one kid ran towards the alley right there and I was telling my husband 'there he goes.' And I turned to say that, my husband and son saw the two other kids," Thomas said.

They did what any person would do, they called 911. But they did not expect what happened next.

"Very frustrating, very upset," Thomas said.

The first 911 call was under the thumb of the Saginaw Police Department, but they said they couldn't help because the scene was no longer active.

One of the suspects went back to the home and Thomas was able to catch him. That's when they took him to the Saginaw County Sheriff's Department, but still received zero results.

"When we had a citizen bring someone, walk up to our window and bring someone, when they actually had someone in custody for a crime they had committed, the policy here is because corrections officers are not deputies they are not sworn law enforcement to make arrests," Sheriff William Federspiel said.

Federspiel said their hands were tied because this case was under the city's jurisdiction.

He said the Saginaw Police Department said to let the suspect go.

Since the incident the Saginaw Police Department apologized on its Facebook page to Thomas and her family. They said this was the result of a miscommunication and that no family should have to endure what they did.

The department also said a 12-year-old has been arrested in connection to the vandalism.

After being forced to wait more than 11 hours to finally file a formal police report, Thomas said she is still not happy with how the situation was handled.

"I'm a tax payer. I pay my taxes. They said to serve and protect. Where is the protecting," Thomas said.

The 12-year-old is in custody, but there is no word on the other two suspects Thomas and her husband saw running from their home.

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