Calgary business owner questions poor response after break-in
A shop owner whose Inglewood store was recently broken into is sharing her story in hopes of helping other Calgary business owners.
Danielle Fawcett says thieves targeted The Shoe Closet in Inglewood on July 14, making away with thousands of dollars in merchandise.
"They were in and out for about eight to 10 minutes and they took a lot of merchandise."
She was first made aware there was an issue when her alarm company called, asking if she wanted police to attend.
"About five minutes later, my alarm company called me back saying that police dispatch said they wouldn’t dispatch the police because only one alarm was set off."
Fawcett called police herself when she arrived at the store, but says it took another five hours for Calgary police officers to show up.
Staff Sgt. John McCarthy confirmed it did, in fact, take police hours to get to the scene.
"The problem we had on this call was there was only one hit and there wasn’t a licenced alarm on the premise."
In 2016, changes were made to Calgary Police Service's protocol regarding break-ins, in an attempt to reduce the number of false alarm calls.
As a result, officers no longer respond to one-alarm calls and security systems need an annual permit; police say, to improve efficiency.
"If there's any indication that a bad person or criminal is still in the premise, that would be a priority response to us or if there is a threat to life,” said McCarthy.
He says that wasn’t the case in this incident and Fawcett’s business did not have the proper alarm permit.
Fawcett says when officers did arrive they made note of where the motion detectors were installed by her security company, Fluent.
“The one in the back was so far from the back door and in a low stockroom, that it virtually could see nothing."
Fawcett wants to change to another company, but was told by customer service representatives with Fluent that she'll need to pay 80 per cent of the remainder of her contract before she can be released.
The company has offered to move the sensors to a better spot, but she says, at this point, the trust is broken.
"Obviously I’m not a security expert so I trusted my security company.”
CTV News reached out to Fluent for comment but the company did not return requests for an interview.
Fawcett hopes she can reach a resolution with the company but, if nothing else, she hopes what happened to her will be a learning opportunity for other Calgary business owners.
"Make sure the sensors are in the proper place so police do show up."