A Wauwatosa couple must be shaking their heads and wondering what more they could have done to protect their home; what more bad luck they could have had; and what in the world their new home security company could have been thinking.
Planning to be away over the weekend, they installed an alarm system on Thursday. Three days later, and just before they returned home, their home was broken into. The alarm system worked, at least in part – but it did them no good whatsoever.
According to a police report:
Residents of a home in the 4700 block of North 117th Street reported that their house had been forcibly broken into Sunday and a jewelry box had been stolen. The couple had been away since Friday, and before leaving had armed their new alarm system, installed just the day before.
The husband was the first to return to the house, about 3 p.m. Sunday. He deactivated the alarm remotely, without looking at the panel, and did not immediately notice anything amiss. But when he checked his answering machine, he found two messages from the alarm company notifying him that the rear door alarm had been tripped at 12:18 p.m. that day.
When he called the company, Platinum Protection, he was told that a representative had been sent to investigate and had noticed “possible pry marks” on the door but had done nothing more. "For unknown reasons," the report said, the company did not call the police when the alarm was tripped.
The couple's daughter had also gotten a message from Platinum Protection on her cell phone, but she was far from the home at the time and assumed that her parents had come home a bit early and, being unfamiliar with it, accidentally set off their own alarm.
The homeowner checked the door and found new damage. Police determined that the door had actually been broken in by bodily force, breaking the latch.
Nothing other than the jewelry box had been taken or disturbed, and the owner could not provide an estimate of the value of the loss, which amounted to heirloom pieces of unknown worth.
The alarm system was also supposed to have set off a loud siren inside the house, but no one in the neighborhood heard anything unusual around the time of the burglary other than a barking dog – perhaps the best alarm system yet devised.