Surveillance video from A-Line Outdoor Power Equipment in Buda captured two men breaking into the store, where they grabbed STIHL-brand blowers, trimmers and chainsaws early Friday morning.
"There were 32 pieces of this display that were taken, totaling about $17,000," explained Brooks Gregory, the store's director.
The shop is located right along IH-35, allowing the pair to quickly drive off.
"They used pry bars, crow bars and hammers and stuff to get in the front doors," said Gregory.
Gregory said it's the fifth time in seven years his store has been targeted by thieves.
Surveillance video documented the incident, which lasted just under seven minutes. Its impact will take far longer to fix.
"It's very frustrating. We all work, we don't have a ton of employees. Work hard every day. It takes a lot of this equipment right here to make up for a $17,000 loss. That right there will probably wipe out about six months of profit of what we've been making," Gregory explained.
While Gregory is upset about the stolen merchandise, he also had questions about the response time.
"I was visiting with the Buda police, and they said we didn't get the call until 5 o'clock, and I said I got my call at 4:45, so there was a disconnect somewhere," said Gregory.
In fact, Gregory beat police to the scene.
"There was probably about 20 minutes between the time I was called (by the alarm company) and the time I arrived here, and I still beat them. So that's a little scary," said Gregory.
KVUE checked the 911 dispatch logs from that date. It showed the alarm company first notified Hays County Dispatch at 4:40 a.m. In a written statement, Buda police confirmed to KVUE that they weren't notified until 5:00 a.m. They arrived to the scene in just under four minutes at 5:04 a.m.
So what happened during that 20-minute lapse?
"We just dropped the ball. It's on us," explained Hay's County Sheriff's Captain Mike Davenport.
As Cpt. Davenport explained, Hays County Dispatch was working on a call of a suicidal person in Buda - as well as a separate robbery call from earlier in the night.
He added they were shorthanded due to staff training, and described the circumstances as "a perfect storm."
Despite those circumstances, Cpt. Davenport said there was no excuse for the 20-minute gap. He added that they were investigating the details of what happened, and would take the appropriate action to make sure it doesn't happen again.
If you have any information about this case, call Crime Stoppers or Buda Police.
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