NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A Bywater homeowner was so frustrated with the lack of communication from police, she contacted FOX 8 for help after her house was burglarized on Feb. 10.
The homeowner, who FOX 8 won't identify because she's the victim of crime, caught the burglary at her Clouet Street home on her four crime cameras.
The surveillance video shows a man riding his bike onto the homeowner's driveway as he looks into the windows of the house. He then makes his way to the back of the house and climbs a fence, before finding a shovel to break a window and enter the home.
Once inside, the thief ransacked the three-bedroom home, opening drawers, tossing clothes and even making himself a snack in the kitchen.
"[He] ate chips, maybe some other food, drank soda, which he threw on the ground," the homeowner said.
Eventually, the man left with a big-screen TV, watches, electronics, cash, and - oddly - the homeowner's Tulane hat.
"I feel violated, I love my neighborhood," the homeowner said. "I know there's been a rash of these things in our neighborhood, but when it happens, you just feel unsettled."
The burglary was initially reported on a Wednesday, and police collected the surveillance from the homeowners on Friday.
In an effort to warn neighbors, the homeowner posted screen shots of the thief on Nextdoor.com, and to her surprise, a neighbor provided a big break.
"I got a message from a neighbor who spoke to a family member of the person in the photos. She believed that it was him, spoke to the family member, showed the family member the photos and the family member positively ID'd the person as his family member," the homeowner said.
She contacted detectives Sunday morning to relay the information, which included a possible address.
"I called two different detectives. One detective, I left a message, [he] didn't pick up, the other detective indicated that the other detective was in charge of the investigation but he would forward on the information," the homeowner said.
She waited to hear back from NOPD, but decided to continue to reach out the follow days.
"Monday didn't hear anything, called the detective again that I had left the voicemail, left another voicemail, didn't hear back, called again on Tuesday, yesterday, didn't hear back, I called the Fifth District, told them I had a name, I had a location," the homeowner said.
It wasn't until this morning - Feb. 18 - when FOX 8 started asking police about the case, that the homeowners said they finally got a call from a detective. However, they said the detective questioned them about why they contacted the media and said he sounded frustrated, condescending and accusatory.
"You never know what could happen with one of these. Someone could come home while this person is in the commission of one of these burglaries, so it's very frustrating that there hasn't been a better response," the homeowner said.
The NOPD confirmed they received the surveillance video from the homeowners on Friday and didn't post it to YouTube until Wednesday afternoon. They said it was initially used as an internal memo. A spokesperson said the detectives would continue contact with the family and try to work on better communicating from this point forward.