Updated: Nov 23, 2019
We've all heard the saying, "You can't put a price on a good night's sleep," but what lengths would you go to if someone or something, deprived you of just that?
Well, that is exactly what happened to local Colerain resident, Jim Delp, who was robbed of his dreams. No, not his life saving's, his actual sleep. Except, the sounding alarm keeping him awake at night wasn't for Mr. Delp's stolen sleep. It was coming from the nearby Lowe's Home Improvement store defective burglar alarm. "Their alarm had been going off from midnight till 5 or 6 in the morning when the first worker came in," said Jim Delp. Mr. Delp lives on Dry Ridge Rd, which is located adjacent to the Lowe's Home Improvement store, at 10235 Colerain Ave.
The store's security system began malfunctioning on October 27, of this year, and according to Mr. Delp, it has kept him and his wife awake every night since.
"I'm a very patient person. When I get bad food in a restaurant I never complain," said Delp. Mr. Delp told Lowe's management that their alarm had been triggering on its own late at night when it first started happening. "They told me that their security system was contracted through another company and they weren't allowed to touch it. They said a work order had been put in but they haven't come out to service it yet," said Delp.
Mr. Delp decided to give Lowe's some time to get the problem fixed and endure the alarming nuisance outside his bedroom window. "Now we're talking 10 days or so and I kept going into the store and complaining. I didn't know how else to do it? I started calling 911 in the middle of the night, once a night," said Delp.
According to incident reports obtained by the Cheviot Gazette, five separate police reports were made to the Colerain Police Department beginning on November 5, and continuing on November 6, 15, and two separate incidents on November 17. Colerain Police made return visits to Lowe's property ranging in times anywhere from 10:30 PM to almost 4 AM per incident. An officer noted in his report on November 11, at 3:51 AM, "Audible alarm coming from Lowes garden center. All okay. The third time the alarm had gone off tonight." Another incident report dated November 17, at 3:31 AM the on-duty officer notes in his report, "Advised the Lowe's Alarm sounds every night, unable to reach a key holder, nothing further."
The Cheviot Gazette asked the Colerain Police Department if anyone from their office had contacted Lowe's about their alarm system malfunction. They advised us that if anyone had, it would be in the reports. There is no record of that taking place in any reports received from the department.
On November 11, Mr. Delp made a formal complaint at the Colerain Police Station. His complaint and information were taken, but nothing seemed to formulate from his visit. At no time did anyone from the police department reach out to Lowe's on Mr. Delp's behalf. It is important to note that Hamilton County charges a dispatch fee of $16 when calls from 911 are dispatched. According to our records, the Cheviot Gazette has obtained at least 8 calls being made. Hamilton County doesn't necessarily charge this fee per call, but multiple dispatches could be sent out on one call. This means one call could have multiple $16 charges. There is also reason to believe more calls were made from this disturbance. A conservative estimate equates taxpayers will foot the bill of $128 for this incident. This is only a drop in the bucket to the $4.7 million Hamilton County has collected in dispatch fees so far this year.
Feeling like Mr. Delp was still not getting anywhere through the proper channels he decided to take matters into his own hands. He decided he would picket in front of Lowe's until the problem was remedied. "I put on my pajamas, and I bought a nightcap, you know one of those hats people wear when they sleep at night? I put on three pairs of long underwear, and I bought a big pair of gaudy men's bedroom slippers because I don't wear bedroom slippers. It was kinda like a nice way of saying ya know, can you fix your alarm system? I stood out there all day, Wednesday," said Delp. The following Saturday morning, Mr. Delp returned to his picket post on the corner of Colerain and Dry Ridge Rd but this time, he wore a suit. Although many pedestrians noticed Mr. Delp's protest, letting out a honk in solidarity, the management from Lowe's elected to ignore him the entire day.
However, that Saturday afternoon is when Mr. Delp's luck began to change. A young man, by the name of Andrew Sparks, and his twin brother, noticed a man while pulling into the store holding a sign about a defective alarm system. The brothers being lifelong residents decided to investigate the matter further. It was then, that this photograph was taken of Jim Delp and his sign by Andrew. After that, it didn't take long for the photo to make its rounds on the internet. The photo, which included a brief description of Mr. Delp's story has been shared over 100 times. We asked Mr. Sparks what compelled him to take the time to talk to Mr. Delp. "I would say it was really more of an act of concern and kindness. After all what if I were in his shoes?" said Sparks.
The following Monday, November 18, it happened, the sound of silence had finally arrived for Mr. Delp's dreams. His nightmare was finally over. He could finally sleep again. Mr. Delp hasn't been contacted by Lowe's directly but has heard the store replaced their alarm system with a new one.
Feeling extremely grateful for posting the photo which sparked the attention needed to end his sleepless nights, Mr. Delp and his wife decided to show Mr. Sparks how appreciative they were for his act of kindness. They purchased Mr. Sparks a $300 comforter set, with a Christmas card attached, and delivered it to his home. "It was worth every penny," said Mr. Delp.
Mr. and Mrs. Delp got their Christmas wish after all.
Lowe's did issue a statement to the Cheviot Gazette “We are sorry for the interruptions this has caused and have worked with our service provider to resolve. We will continue monitoring the store.”