CORINTH, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - Burglars smashed their way into a home and loaded up a truck, all while the homeowners watched it happen live. They realized too late though, they were unable to quickly call law enforcement for help, instead turning to neighbors to try to stop the crime.
Cameras inside and outside the Ratay family caught two men smashing through the front door July 3. The family, on vacation in Alaska, received an alert on their phones and were able to log in and see the crime.
An instinctive call to 911 though, put them through to local dispatchers where they were on vacation.
"Being that we were not in our area, 911 wouldn't work up here, it does not work," said Robert Ratay. "They can't transfer your call."
His wife called the non-emergency number next for police in Corinth, but after navigating phone prompts she said she ended up on hold, and decided to hang up. Call number three, was to neighbors on the street.
"We got ahold of two different neighbors," he said. "She called a friend and the friend was just up the street. She came down and sat at the end of our driveway. That made these guys nervous."
Some home security camera systems, including from brands Canary and Arlo, now have the capability to call 911 and contact dispatchers in your home city.
Absent that option, police in Denton said Monday the best plan for being out of town and seeing an emergency need, is to have the direct phone number to local police. Notify trusted neighbors and friends you're going to be gone, in case you need them if there's an emergency.
In this case, that call helped the Ratays recover a dirt bike, which belonged to their late son, and fell out of the burglars truck as they drove off.
"And to see these thieves loading that thing up on the back of their truck and then flying down the road with it, something you don't want to see," Ratay said.
Police said Wednesday they have not identified the men in the video yet, and they may be persons of interest in at least one other break in in that area.
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