Power loss to radio repeater causes delay in police response to break-in
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 1:00 AM
A loss of power to the city's radio repeater delayed a Philadelphia police response to a break-in at The Citizens Bank branch on east Main Street last week, officials said.
The officers were responding to an alarm activation at the bank on Monday, March 3 at 2:32 a.m.
Chief of Police Grant Myers said the 13 minute or less response was due to the radios being down because of a power outage, forcing officers to communicate through cell phones.
Power to the digital repeater, which receives and amplifies the signal for the new police and fire department radios, went down at 1:44 a.m., he said.
Myers said that after the repeater went down his dispatchers attempted to switch over to the backup repeater located at City Hall.
"We tried to switch over but it wouldn't work," he said. "I don't know why."
Forty-five minutes later police were able to get the main repeater working and radios came back on.
The loss of power was caused by a limb which fell across a power line at the intersection of Evergreen Avenue and Breazeale Street in the eastern part of the city at about 1:45 a.m., John Burt, Philadelphia Utilities manager, said.
Burt said the circuit for the repeater, located on north Pecan Avenue, was tied in to the line that was damaged.
"When it [the line] went out, the repeater went out," he said. "Power was out for about 45 minutes."
Once police arrived on the scene they found a front glass door smashed in. A small amount of change was taken in the break-in.
Several items of evidentiary value were collected at the bank, Myers said.
"We are following up on some leads," he said.
The authorities would not comment on whether or not the burglary was captured on video surveillance.
Greg McKee, President and CEO of The Citizens Bank, said the bank's alarm system was not disabled due to the electrical outage.
The Police Department has posted a reward in conjunction with the burglary. Anyone with information was asked to call PPD at 601-656-2131.