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Tire Thieves Target Gables Residents

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A rude awakening for a couple of Coral Gables residents who found their cars up on blocks, their wheels gone, early Thursday morning. (Source: CBS4)

A rude awakening for a couple of Coral Gables residents who found their cars up on blocks, their wheels gone, early Thursday morning. (Source: CBS4)

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Gary Nelson has been a member of the CBS4 News team since Septem...
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South Florida Crime

CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) – A rude awakening for a couple of Coral Gables residents who found their cars up on blocks, their wheels gone, early Thursday morning.

The thefts happened in fronts of homes on Navarre Avenue near LeJeune Road. Both a Mercedes-Benz and an Audi were found hoisted onto concrete blocks, their pricey tires and rims missing.

“I think that we are paying a lot of taxes for nothing,” said the owner of the Mercedes who did not wish to be identified in this report. “We should have police going around.”

“Nobody seen nothing,” said Lorraine Alvarado, “And when my boss saw his car he said ‘Oh my God, what happened here’.”

Neighbor Michael Monday, who lives just around the corner, said he was concerned.

“They stole two bicycles out of my garage about two years ago,” said Monday.

If Gables residents think property crime has increased in their city, they’re right.  The property crime rate is up four percent over the last five years.  At the same time, the size of the city’s police force has remained stagnant – 183 officers.  That is about to change, however.

In October, Gables commissioners approved a budget that will add seven sworn officers to the force.

“We’re looking forward to filling those positions with new officers, so we can put them on the street and attack these issues that have occurred in our city,” said Officer Kelly Denham.

With its roster unchanged – smaller, in fact,  than before 2008 – property crime declined ever so slightly last year, by one percent.  Denham said the department has focused its efforts on targeted areas and worked hard on crime prevention.

During the holiday season, when grinches tend to come out in larger numbers, the department is flooding various zones on a rotating basis with increased patrols.  They are calling it “Operation Egg Nog.”

Anyone with information on the tire thefts is urged to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.

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