Richmond Co. dispatch responds to busy phone lines

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News 12 at 6 o'clock / Friday, May 3, 2013

Augusta-Richmond County 911 Center

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- A truck was stolen from a local dealership -- right as the surveillance company watched and called dispatch to report the crime.

Surveillance photos show the thieves in action, stealing a brand new pickup truck from Gordon Chevrolet Monday night.

The supervisor for the security company reported trying to call dispatch multiple times, only to get a busy signal even as the crooks drove the truck away.

"With the screenshots they have, with the time stamp -- they were calling us and they talked to us right while the people were on scene. And we dispatched while the people were on scene," explained Dominick Nutter, Augusta's 911 Center director.

The surveillance photo shows the truck being stolen at 9:13 p.m. Richmond County dispatch phone records show a call connected just one minute later.

And EMS records show deputies arriving to the dealership three minutes after that at 9:17 p.m.

"So ... it was simultaneous. So if they did get a busy signal, it was only seconds," Nutter explained.

Whether a quicker response time could have prevented this theft is anyone's guess, but Nutter says a busy signal doesn't happen often.

"It is rare that there's a busy signal," he said. "But that could occur, but it's very rare that that happens. And normally if it happens, it'll clear up within 30 to 60 seconds."

Because Gordon Chevrolet's security company is located outside of Augusta, the company had to contact dispatch.

But Nutter says for folks here in here in Augusta -- to always call 911 during an emergency.

"For a theft or any emergency, they call 911," he said. "You will not get a busy signal on a 911 line."

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