DAVIE(CBSMiami) – A veteran Miami-Dade police officer says she is in “shock” and “disbelief” after burglars ransacked her home and stole cash, car keys, a bullet proof vest, four weapons and even her family’s 2010 black Nissan Armada.
“I am in shock. I can’t believe it. I am in disbelief,” said Miami-Dade Police Lt. Mishka Lahiff, who has been with the department for 21 years and who discovered the burglary on July 15th when she and her husband Robert Lahiff, a veteran BSO officer, returned from a California vacation.
Robert Lahiff has been with BSO for 28 years.
“Now you understand how victims that you deal with everyday feel when they are victimized,” he said in an exclusive interview with CBS4’s Peter D’Oench. “I felt anger and frustration.”
“I have been a police officer for 28 years dealing with victims on a regular basis,” he said. “You tend to distance yourself from their feelings because there is so much crime. Now I really know what it feels like.”
Mishka Lahiff told D’Oench, “I’m a police officer. I’ve been on the other side of crimes. I’ve investigated burglaries. I’ve never been on the side where I am a victim. I have never felt so violated. I couldn’t sleep that night. For two days I didn’t sleep or eat.”
“Then the worst part is my Dad died five years ago and every piece of jewelry he’s given me in my life and right before he died is gone. If there’s anything I want back it’s what my Dad gave me,” she said. “If there’s anybody who knows who did it or who can give me my jewelry back I would be extremely grateful.”
Lahiff showed CBS4 photos of the watches and jewelry that were stolen including a cross that her father gave her.
The burglars stole high-end sneakers worth $200, a purse, a woman’s wallet, $200 in cash, a $150 gift card, a video game player, four sets of car keys and even stole the family’s $37,000 black Nissan Armada with a Florida license tag of D789JJ. There was no tracking device on the vehicle.
The burglars also stole Robert Lahiff’s 9 mm AR 15 that has a stamp saying it is the “property of law enforcement,” a 9 mm Glock 21 and 9mm Glock 26 and a 25 Baretta.
“These are weapons that can be used against other law enforcement officers or civilians on the street,” said Robert Lahiff. “Yes it hurts and would hurt even more if the weapons were used against somebody else.”
“They took my tactical vest and even went through my police car,” said Robert Lahiff.
He and Mishka said the burglars apparently broke in through a bathroom window.
“They remove the window, cut out the screen and reached in and opened the bathroom door,” she said. “They even took that window with them because of the prints that might have been found on it. They pulled out all the drawers in the bedroom and took my jewelry box. They went all over the house and even went through the kids’ room.”
He and his wife said they believed they were targeted because they are officers.
“Absolutely that’s the case,” said Robert Lahiff.
Mishka Lahiff said, “I think they knew what they were coming for and what they wanted. These aren’t kids next door or crack heads trying to get more crack. They are more sophisticated professionals. These guys definitely have more guts and are probably more dangerous because of what they did and that is breaking into a police officer’s home and taking guns.”
Mishka and Robert Lahiff have now installed both an alarm and surveillance system since the burglary. Davie Police so far have not been able to find any useful surveillance tape from the neighborhood, according to a police report.
The Lahiffs have been told that a “white Hispanic male” between the ages of 17 and 22 was twice seen sitting in or near their driveway before the burglary in a “white sporty car” that was possibly a LEXUS. The crime has also prompted a law enforcement bulletin about the crime.
Davie Police say there is an active investigation but so far they have no suspects.
Anyone with information is urged to call Broward Crime Stoppers at (954) 483-TIPS (8477).
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