Community Voices

Reminders: Always lock car doors; secure your homes when fumigating

Carmen Gonzalez Caldwell
Carmen Gonzalez Caldwell

This week I want to share with you information about a few crimes we usually don’t think about.

Crime watch groups across the county have been alerting members about these deeds. As I always tell you, the criminal element always thinks of ways to get to us, therefore we need to beat them at their own game. Have a plan and be aware at all times.

Here are some of the crimes I have been alerted to recently:

UNLOCKED CARS BURGLARIZED

I keep getting reports that cars are still being left unlocked and broken into. Folks, this issue is getting pretty bad when eight out of 10 cars are not locked. This is a simple crime for criminals since all they do is walk into a neighborhood and start checking doors to see if they are opened. Of course we are sleeping and don’t see the criminals.

Solution: Keeps the doors locked and the alarm on. Do not leave anything valuable in the car, not even your child’s backpack. Make sure that your front porch light is on because good lighting is a good deterrent.

FUMIGATION BREAK-INS

OK, it’s termite season. Many homeowners during these months hire companies to fumigate their houses. Needless to say, you must be very careful who you hire.

Run a complete check on the company you use because some have been known to clean out houses before the tents goes up.

Even with the tent on and poison gas inside, there are criminals who will use masks to roam around under the tent.

Solution: Check with Better Business bureau or do a Google search to see if there are any comments on the company you choose. Call your local police and place a watch order on the house. Advise your neighbors and if possible give them a number where you can be reached. Contact your alarm company and advise it of what is happening. Beware that many fumigation companies do not allow alarms to be turned on.

It is extremely important that you take with you all of your valuables, such as jewelry, passports and important papers that have financial information. Ask the company if they have a security guard that you can hire. Also ask about their policy if someone should break- in do they have insurance for your loss. I cannot tell you how many emails I received on this issue, people that had their houses burglarized during this tenting process. Contact your police department so you don’t become a victim.

Carmen Caldwell is executive director of Citizens’ Crime Watch of Miami-Dade. Send feedback and news for this column to carmen@citizenscrimewatch.org, or call her at 305-470-1670.

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