301.519.9237 exdirector@nesaus.org

12.10.19 – WTSP

ADT says the family’s roof is blocking the signal needed to notify police.

TAMPA, Fla. — Many people install security systems to alert them to intruders but for one South Tampa family, a signal problem meant not knowing someone was in their home.

“I was like, ‘What are you telling me? Your window is open? Like unlocked or physically open?’” Sharon Rice said.

It wasn’t registering to Rice that her 15-year-old just called to let her know something wasn’t right. It all happened last Friday night in the middle of the afternoon.

“Debris was on the floor and his window was open. It just seemed very odd for Robbie,” Rice said.

Neighbors caught it all on video: A man quietly entered her home through the back after prying open a window.

“Even though I did have my alarm on, it was ‘offline,’ so the security company, ADT, was not getting a signal that the motion detector had gone off inside the house,” Rice said.

Rice says time stamps from the neighbor’s surveillance camera show the burglar was in her home for five minutes or less. Then he got into his car and drove off.

“You just want your children to be safe. You know you have this image of what you want these people to look like and he’s a young kid!” Rice said. “It’s hard to imagine again that he just blended in and did not stick out once so ever to anyone on the street that just drove by.”

Rice is replacing all of her windows and fixing her security system, too. Her security company says her roof is blocking the signal needed to notify the police.

“I’m getting all new windows,” she said. “That expense alone right there is because of a jerk who broke into my house to just take jewelry and some petty cash.”

The family hopes people will use this as an example, like making sure you use your alarms and check them periodically. Ask your security company to make sure it’s working properly, too.