by: Rachel Stockman Updated:ATLANTA —
A homeowner says Atlanta police caught the burglar who broke his house and set off his alarm, but they still issued him a citation for a false alarm.
Homeowner Ryan Van Meter says it took Atlanta police only a few days to book 19-year-old Jeffery Jones for burglarizing his house in southeast Atlanta.
“I applaud APD for finding the person and arresting him but I can’t believe the same police department chose to cite me for a false alarm for the exact same date,” Van Meter said.
That’s why Van Meter says the false alarm ticket he received from the City of Atlanta is so upsetting.
“It irritates me greatly,” Van Meter said.
Van Meter was out of town when his home alarm went off on June 15.
“The police said they had been to my house, didn’t find anything was wrong, so they left,” Van Meter said.
Just to be sure, he sent some family members over the next day to check, that is when he says they discovered evidence of a break-in in his back bedroom.
“When they got there it was plainly obvious that the window had been broken in,” Van Meter.
Van Meter says they called police back to the house, and at that time, investigators were able to take fingerprints and eventually arrest Jones. According to a police report, Jones admitted to entering the home the day the alarm was activated.
“The police are still saying this was a false alarm?” Van Meter said.
Van Meter says he doesn’t know if it was a mix-up or a communication error but he wants his ticket thrown out. Atlanta police say they are looking into the homeowner’s case.
“For a lot of people, myself included, busy professionals or people have kids at home, they don’t have time to go down and fight a $50 citation,” Van Meter said.
Atlanta police have an officer dedicated to investigating false alarms. Van Meter says he will pass along his concerns to the officer. There is also a website where residents can find out how to contest a ticket.