MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Police are looking for the thief or thieves who broke into ten cars overnight at an apartment complex and stole all of their expensive air bags.
Detectives say it’s an uncommon crime and victims say they were told the criminals were targeting Hondas and Nissans inside the parking garage at West Brickell Apartments at 955 S.W. 2nd Ave.
“I woke up this morning and found my air bags were missing from my 2014 Honda Accord,” said Carolina Gonzalez, who lives at the West Brickell Apartments.
Gonzalez showed CBS4’s Peter D’Oench how she made the discovery inside the parking garage when she was going to work on Wednesday morning.
“If you look inside at the steering wheel you will see my air bag is missing,” she said. “I couldn’t believe this happened. My door handle was broken. And that was it.”
“It’s crazy. It’s shocking. It’s depressing,” said Gonzalez. “I just got my car a month ago and I never thought someone would take my air bag. The valuables were not missing, just my air bag.”
“It looks like they were just going after Hondas and Nissans so watch out if you have a Nissan or a Honda,” said Gonzalez.
“I want people to come forward and call it in if they know anything,” she said. “This was so unfair. We rely on our cars.”
Gonzalez said her insurance would cover most of her loss. She said her air bag was worth $2100 and her deductible was $500.
Another victim, Madeline Quintero, said her husband discovered that their car was victimized when he got into it on Tuesday morning.
“They took the air bag and the iPhone from our car which is a 2014 Honda Accord,” said Quintero. “How can you imagine waking up and you don’t have what’s necessary for your car.”
“We have to pay rent, our monthly rent and now we have to pay for an air bag,” she said. “I called our insurance company and they said they would not pay for that.”
“This is something that is very unusual,” said Miami Police spokesman, Sgt. Freddie Cruz. “Sometime in the midnight hours someone or some people broke into these vehicles.”
“Are they using the air bags for other vehicles or are they selling them? We don’t know,” Cruz said. “We are looking at surveillance cameras and have some images. We do not have much to go on.”
“Whoever is responsible for this crime has to have some sort of knowledge,” Cruz said. “We are not sure if it was one person or a group or a gang. These guys were experts. They knew what they were doing.”
“They broke into these cars for the air bags that in most cases are at least $500 to $1,000 each,” said Cruz. “My advice is some people should consider investing in alarms. We also urge property owners to have surveillance cameras.”
Some residents complained that the surveillance cameras were not working at the West Brickell Apartments. A manager at the complex told CBS4 she was not able to comment.
Anyone with information is urged to call Miami Police or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).