Leeds woman turns detective after slow police response

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A WOMAN frustrated at the police’s response to the theft of her husband’s laptop decided to turn detective.

Catherine Gregory said she felt there was no option but to carry out her own investigation as the days rolled by.

“Like a dog with a bone, I am refusing to let this go.”

Catherine Gregory

She said: “I have always defended the police when people have criticised them as I believed they would be supportive if they were required – but they weren’t.”

The Apple Mac Book Pro and other items were stolen on Wednesday July 6 between 8pm and 11pm when a thief broke into his car while it was parked near Eiger Studios on Dewsbury Road, Hunslet.

It had been on the back seat in a black New Balance rucksack along with equipment he used for DJing and storing original music by his band.

Mrs Gregory, who lives in Morley, said police took the basics and gave a crime reference number, but nobody went to the scene or asked for information like the laptop serial number.

In the meantime, the 31-year-old has contacted companies in the area about CCTV footage, called round pawn shops and put up appeal posters.

“I have essentially been doing their job,” she said. “Like a dog with a bone, I am refusing to let this go.

“I understand that our police force is under pressure but this is our property that we worked hard for. They offered no support at all.”

Inspector Richard Clarke, who heads neighbourhood policing in South Leeds, said: “We always strive to deliver the best possible service that we can to victims of crime but on this occasion the quality of our response has fallen below the standard we aim to achieve. This appears to have been mainly due to the high volume of other incidents we were dealing with, and we can only apologise to the victim for the delay.

“An officer has now been allocated to the crime and we will be exploring all available lines of enquiry to progress the investigation.”

Mrs Gregory, who has lodged a formal complaint, was contacted by police on Monday.

“When I first reported it, they said there were no lines of enquiry,” she said. “They’re looking into it now but we’re a step behind the thief. It’s just really disappointing.”

She added that she hoped other people parking in the area would be careful about leaving belongings in their cars and those with Apple equipment would activate the optional trackers.

The items stolen were a Mac Book Pro (serial C02P72L5G3QC), three jack extension cables, three USB microphones, three drumming books, an ENTTEC DMXIS DMX control module, a Samsung external pocket drive, a SanDisk micro USB drive, a syncrosoft eLicencer, an Akai LPK25 mini USB keyboard, and a black 80GB classic iPod (serial Q213401U9ZU).

Phone the neighbourhood policing team via 101 with any information.

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