I am told that 8 of 10 cars are left unlocked! Below is an email I received from Biscayne Park Police Chief Rusty McKenna that is very compelling as to the importance of keeping your car locked but to also not leaving a gun in the car or any valuables:
Why do we have a stolen handgun in the hands of a criminal right now?
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Sadly, the answer is because one of our residents left their car UNLOCKED even though they left this handgun in the center console of the car.
We often see our residents become victims of theft because their cars were left unlocked. This encourages thieves to return to this neighborhood with the expectation of finding more unlocked cars. However, sometimes there are certain responsibilities each of us have to each other that should be no-brainers! Not putting other residents in danger by leaving a loaded handgun in your unlocked car overnight is one of those responsibilities!! Better yet, don't leave guns in your parked cars in your driveways at all! You are endangering your neighbors by doing so!!
This incident occurred between 9:00 P.M. yesterday and 1:00 P.M. today. The unlocked vehicle the gun was stolen from was a black Hyundai Sante Fe (SUV) on Northeast 113th Street near Northeast Seventh Avenue. If you saw anything or anyone suspicious, please let Detective Lieutenant [Hector] Pineda know by calling him at 305-981-4748 or call Crime Stoppers 305-471-8477.
In the past, I have written about leaving mail in your mailbox, then raising that little red flag that lets everyone (the bad guys) know there is something inside. Here is an email from one of my readers in the Islandia community about something that happened last week:
This morning one of our crime watchers called me to inform that all the mail boxes around Islandia were left open. He drove around and noticed that some had mail on the ground, as the vandals probably searched the mail to pick and choose whatever they wanted to take. Check your mail outside to see if it’s missing. Break-ins are beginning to happen again. Be careful locking your doors and check your surroundings for strangers walking in our community or visiting houses well known for associating with unsavory characters. I spoke with the mailperson yesterday and she told me that the vandals were searching our mailboxes looking for tax refund checks. I hadn’t thought about that but I’m sure she’s right. — Elisa, Islandia.
For the next few weeks, everyone needs to pick up their mail as soon as possible because the bad guys are looking for your tax refund checks and also looking for that payment you might have to make, so please go to the post office to mail any checks, including those to your credit card companies.
Also this past couple of weeks I have been getting reports again regarding squatters coming into neighborhoods. Please call the police if you see people moving into a house that you know is in foreclosure or empty.
Carmen Caldwell is executive director of Citizens’ Crime Watch of Miami-Dade. Send feedback and news for this column to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call her at 305-470-1670.