I originally put this one on my personal blog on June 22nd, 2006
I've been robbed twice in a week. Once by a low life, sorry excuse for a human being that preys on the disabled to rob and a second time by Toronto Metro Police.....
Here is my story.....I am a 48 year old disabled woman that does a lot of volunteer work for my community. On Wednesday June 14th, 2006 I was out about 7:00 pm to go and post flyers for 2 community events. On my way downstairs I decided to go across the street to the Wellesley Community Centre and see if yet another community event needed an extra hand because I thought that they may. It was about the only event that I haven't actually participated in due to timing. However, I just wanted to be sure the lady running it wasn't short handed so off we went over there.
The event was on the main floor being held in the kitchen and the room next to it. I parked my scooter against the hall wall and the person with me parked her's directly behind mine. This person was my mom who also does a lot of community volunteer work and is 80. The scooter issue for both of us is a genetic thing. Anyway.... she is parked directly behind me. I can walk with a cane for short distances so I left my scooter there with her right behind it. My purse was tucked right underneath my seat. I have an older type scooter and it has a gap under the seat that is a good hidey hole. Obviously not that good that evening but it's been good for the past 10+ years.
I went in, spoke to the woman in charge, she had it all under control and enough volunteers were there. I gave her a message about another meeting we were both attending the next evening and I left through the far door. When I exited that door a couple of residents talked to me for a minute and then I went to my scooter. I sat down and right away I noticed something amiss. Since my purse is tucked so far back I can't feel it unless I tuck my heels in that section. Which I do. But this time I felt nothing! My purse was not there and she didn't have it either. Since I'm very active in my community I know a lot of people, several of which were at this function. One lady went into the ladies room to check the stalls and garbage there. Nothing. Then she was kind enough to have her son check the men's room but again, nothing. At that point I went out and started looking. We looked in every garbage can in the area. Usually this kind of thing is a grab and toss thing. Get what you want and toss the purse in the garbage. We went to behind the grocery store to their smelly disgusting dumpsters, to behind every building close by in the area and trying each garbage can and large dumpster. Doing whatever we could to at least find my purse and get my personal things back like my agenda of meetings and appts, my health history which I keep with me at all times in case of emergency, my medications, etc... Nothing though. This was about 7:40 pm ish or so.
I got home and I called Metro Police to report it, they took my number and said someone would call me back. This was fine. I figured it would take a bit of time for them to call back so I did what I should do and called Visa and cancelled my card before someone had a hell of a party on me. Wouldn't you know I get an idiot that knows nothing and puts me on hold for so long that of course, the police had called me back and I missed the call. She actually came back to the phone to ask me to hold longer, I told her no, I was waiting for the police to call. Great... I wait though and about 2 minutes later my phone rings again and I grab it thinking it's the police when it's the woman from Visa again. I basically hang up on her and yes, in that split minute the police had called back and this time left a rather snotty message on my phone telling me to start all over again. Well excuse me, I was cancelling my Visa before it was run up to the hilt.
Frustrated I call back and tell the woman that answered the phone about my snotty message and why I was on the phone when he called. She apologized for him whomever he was and put me through to someone else who took my info once more and said an officer would call me back. This time I got a very nice officer who took all the information from me and gave me his badge # and a report # and his name.
The next day I'm scootering all over the place because this low life got my drivers license, my disabled parking permit, my OHIP and of all things, my mom's convenience card because I do a lot of her banking for her. My convenience card was luckily in my jacket. He got my cash too. My cell phone was in my scooter so he didn't get it either. All of a sudden something strikes me... this robbery took place in a City of Toronto Community Centre!! Security Camera's!! So, off I go to speak to Lucky (the supervisor) and he tells me YES they do have camera's everywhere and because of where my scooter was they more than likely got it on tape!! He would have one of his staff look and get back to me.
That evening while at a meeting my cell phone rang with the employee at the community centre on the other end telling me yes, they indeed caught the entire thing on security video. And I can call the police and let them know to come pick it up.
When I got home from my meeting it was around 9:15 or so give or take a few minutes. A resident was waiting for me in my home for help and I had her wait until I called the Police dept. and give the officer I spoke to the information. Since I had spoken to him only the night before I figured he would be on duty in the evening again. I don't know who I spoke to but she was abrupt and wouldn't put me through to the officer saying he only makes calls, he doesn't receive them. I explained to her that they have this robbery on tape and I wanted to speak to the officer that I reported it to. She refused and told me they have to come and pick up the tape and then someone will call me. That was that. There was no way I could speak to the officer that took my report. There was nothing more I could do, it made no sense to argue with her so I left it at that. That she would put it through to go pick up the video tape.
I waited to hear something. Friday came and I went over to the community centre to speak to the supervisor and he showed me the tape. I watched as this man came in casually and robbed me and then simply walked out and the direction where he went. We all agreed that this man was so at ease and looked familiar with the community centre and the community so he probably lives around here. I thanked them for their help and went home hoping I'd hear something Friday night. I was wrong. Saturday came and nothing again. Sunday, same thing. Come Monday I'm wondering what the heck is going on and I call the community centre to speak to the supervisor and asked him if he heard anything or if an officer came to get the video tape. He told me no.
Monday comes and goes and still nothing. Tuesday morning comes and I call the supervisor yet again at the community centre and he tells me he still has not heard anything. So frustrated I want to scream, I called Metro Police back yet again. This time I'm put through to a female officer who was very nice and I explained it all again including the phone call I made the evening of Thursday June 15th, the day after the robbery, to report that a video tape was waiting at the community centre and the entire thing was caught on tape. With an extremely good front view of this man. Easy to see his face and make him out. Front and back.... coming and going. Everything that was needed. For some reason or another she couldn't find any information on the call I made to report the video tape but told me that since I could not give them the exact address and only gave them the corner it was situated on that may be the reason she couldn't find it. For crying out loud, the name of the community centre is the name of the street and it's right on the corner and I gave them the two street names. I'm sorry I didn't know the exact # of the address. She said she would be sure to have someone come and get the tape.
That evening I had yet another community event to help at and this one was a bbq. A Neighbours Night Out bbq of all things. I was so hoping this low life would pass by me in the food line and I'd have him arrested because we did have security guards at our event and they were also participating in the bbq and would have held him until the police could get there. No such luck though.
Now my frustation is building. No one was coming for the tape and the supervisor at the community centre couldn't give me a copy of a pic with this man on it for distribution. It had to be done by Metro Police but they were no where to be seen still and still had not picked up the video. I had been hoping that this low lifes photo could have been handed around at the bbq and to the foot patrol officers in our area but no such luck.
Now we come to today - Wednesday. Today I spent cooking for yet another community event I'm holding on Thursday. A Seniors Afternoon Social. I hold them every 6 weeks. I was home all day hoping to hear something but again, nothing. Around 6:30 pm my phone rang and it was the supervisor at the community centre. He said "Vickie, I'm really sorry but I have some bad news for you". I'm wondering what the heck kind of bad news could he have and I asked him what it was. Well........
The police finally contacted him about the security video today. After they called he went to look at it for some reason and discovered that the video flipped. It flips every 7 days. It flipped YESTERDAY!!! The video was gone. Never to be seen again. He tried everything he could, looked on every drive of the computer but the 7 days had passed and it flipped. Now he was going to have to call the police and let them know. He apologized to me several times but I told him it wasn't his fault. That this should have been followed up, not dropped.
I couldn't believe it. All this time and all my efforts and nothing..... they were so slow in responding that the damn camera hit it's 7 day limit and flipped and everything was lost because it was video'd over. I seriously want to know who that woman was that I talked to on that Thursday night. She either ignored the report that I was making telling them video tape was there and waiting or she dropped the ball or someone dropped the ball and I want to know who it was and they need to take responsibility for it.
I know it wasn't a huge theft (he did get some money too) but this man had no problem with robbing a disabled person. What if the next victim gives him a fight? Does he kill the person for their purse or wallet? Would this be the first time someone would be seriously injured or killed for a few bucks? Not here it wouldn't be.
I am furious at this point and feel that Metro Police owes me at least a written apology. More specifically from the person who dropped the damn ball. All the evidence is gone and the evidence was excellent. A nice clear picture of this man. Lost forever. Now the only ones that know what this man looks like are the few of us that viewed the video but I've never been called back and it's doubtful now anything will be done about this robbery. It doesn't seem to matter.
When I reported that this happened in a community centre why did I have to realize there would be video tape and why was I the one that followed it up? Why was my follow up ignored? Right now I feel like I've been robbed twice.... once by that lowlife and then again by Metro Police who dropped the ball and lost the evidence basically.
I'm thoroughly disgusted at this point too. This man preys on the disabled. Who is he going to hit next? A senior citizen? Another disabled person? How about a blind person? They're pretty defenseless. Does no one even want to know what he looked like? I've still not heard a word back from Metro Police. Not even a lousy apology because they took so long and by then everything, all evidence, was gone.
I sent a letter directly to the Chief of Police but I'm doubtful I'll hear back from him either. If really lucky I may get his assistant but at this point, I seriously doubt it.
To add insult to injury, Metro Police had a meeting in the same community centre the following Monday (the 19th) asking people to help them fight crime in this neighbourhood. I tried... they just didn't listen. I don't know what more I could have done.