Fed up with police response times, Tacoma man takes back his stolen trailer

TACOMA, Wash. — Dezzy Thomas says that after his trailer was stolen, Tacoma police gave him no choice but to take matters into his own hands. The classic car restorer tells KIRO 7 that over a period of eight days, he spotted his stolen trailer twice and both times he called 911. Fed up with delayed TPD response times and a lack of urgency, the second time he tracked down the trailer, he stole it back!

Thomas first reported the trailer stolen near the Tacoma Mall on July 16. Much to his surprise, 13 days later during a trip to the grocery store, he spotted it in the parking lot hooked up to a white van.

“I can’t believe the audacity of people sitting right out here, five minutes from my house with my trailer,” said Thomas.

Tacoma police confirm that on July 29, Thomas called 911 to report he’d located his trailer at the Safeway on 38 and Sheridan. Officers were dispatched 1 hour and 45 minutes after Thomas says he called the police to report the man getting into the white van.

“I got tired of waiting on them,” said Thomas. “As soon as he went into his van, I put my truck in reverse and went and T-boned him basically.”

After the collision, Thomas says the thief took off across the parking lot and then recklessly drove through four lanes of traffic.

Thomas did not expect to see the trailer after that, but days later on Aug. 6 while driving down North Highlands Parkway, there it was again! He says, just like the last time, he first called the police.

“I was like, ‘What are the odds? Perfect, now we’re really going to get them this time,’” said Thomas. “You can’t fumble this and I’ve gift-wrapped it to you again.”

According to Tacoma police, two officers were dispatched nearly two hours later. By the time they arrived, Thomas had managed to steal the trailer back and had left the area.

“What’s the other option? I understand they’re busy, I understand they can’t prevent everything,” said Thomas. “That wasn’t my issue.”

A spokesperson with Tacoma police says people in crisis take priority over property crimes. Right now, the force is down 44 positions. While 27 more officers are in the pipeline, they’re not yet patrolling the streets. Until the department is fully staffed, delayed response times should be expected.

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