MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Southwest Miami-Dade mother says she “feels horrible” after a criminal who may be a serial burglar ransacked her family’s home and stole items of sentimental value including her late grandparents’ jewelry.
“It’s very, very, very disturbing,” said Elba Lorenzo in an exclusive interview with CBS4’s Peter D’Oench. “I don’t even have the words to explain it. I have been here 15 years. This is the first time this has happened. It’s very bad. It’s like he went through all your stuff, your personal stuff and it feels horrible.”
Lorenzo spoke out as Miami-Dade Police released surveillance video of the burglar. Police say he was caught on tape casually walking around Lorenzo’s back porch and is also seen entering the home near S.W. 143rd Ave. and S.W. 179th St. at 7:06 p.m. on November 9th of last year.
Police believe he was also captured on surveillance tape walking through the back yard of a nearby home on January 5th near S.W. 146TH Ave. and S.W. 177th St.
Lorenzo told CBS4 the burglar got into her home by breaking a sliding glass door.
“He came in through here and broke that glass over there and this is where we have the shutters up,” she said.
Lorenzo didn’t want to show all of her face but she did want to speak out.
“We lost very sentimental valued jewelry which was my grandfather’s jewelry and my grandmother’s jewelry. They passed away,” she said. “I lost my graduation ring which was very important to me. And they took my brother’s ipad. He cried. He is only 7 years old. I also lost my camera which I loved so much.”
Miami-Dade Police Detective Robin Pinkard said, “We do believe this is the same subject. We’re hoping someone can help identify him and lead us to him. We do have him on two different surveillance tapes in two different burglaries. He might be responsible for other burglaries in the locations.”
“This is someone we’d like to get off the street and we could use the help of the community,” said Pinkard.
She said the surveillance cameras have been a huge asset to those in law enforcement.
“In this day and age with more technology, we are getting a lot better surveillance footage from residents and this can be a huge help in capturing individuals who commit crimes,” she said.
Lorenzo’s family has made her home more secure with a new alarm system, extra locks and other precautions.
“See how we put up the shutters here as well on our back porch,” she said. “We also have a timer right here on this device. At 6 o’clock it turns on the light.”
Lorenzo said all of the surveillance cameras have been checked to make sure they are working properly. And the gate to her back yard has a lock on it.
“I kind of hate that we have to live like this, but we have to do it,” she said.
She told D’Oench that neither she nor her father recognized the man seen on the surveillance tape.
She said the losses were mostly covered by insurance but she particularly wants to recover the stolen items that have sentimental value.
“Please tell us,” she said. “Please tell the police. It could happen to your house. It could happen to you if somebody is inside your house where you are. I have a child, a 2-year-old daughter. If it happened while we were there, I wouldn’t have known how to protect myself. I sure hope they catch him so it doesn’t happen again.”
Anyone with information on the burglaries should call Crime Stoppers (305) 471-TIPS (8477) or (866) 471-8477.