MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Victims are speaking out exclusively with CBS4 about a rash of burglaries in two communities in Southwest Miami-Dade.
Miami-Dade police have released surveillance tape of a pickup truck used in one of the crimes.
One victim told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that her home has been burglarized twice in eight months and her dog was savagely beaten by the burglars during one of the crimes just because she was barking.
“I’m afraid to come home at night because I am afraid when I open the door I am going to have a situation. I feel sad and I feel scared. I’m not happy in the sense that I don’t feel safe in my neighborhood,” Jacqueline Garcia said.
Police released surveillance tape of a dark green Dodge pick-up truck, with a single cab and a silver metal tool box on the rear of the trunk, leaving Garcia’s home on the morning of March 1st in the Red Bird neighborhood near Schenley Park at SW 38th Street and 65th Avenue. It is not far from Ludlum Road, a busy thoroughfare.
Police said one thief went in the home while the other criminal waited in the truck.
Garcia, who is a prominent realtor and who is active in her neighborhood crime watch, said she has an alarm but it was turned off at the time.
“They took $10,000 worth of jewelry and designer purses and they took whatever they could in three minutes,” she said. “They seemed to know exactly what they were doing. They went right to the master bedroom. It seems to be an ongoing situation. We don’t know where they are coming from.”
She added, “They’re caught on camera. They can run but they cannot hide. So if somebody sees these thugs in a Dodge Ram truck that is hunter green and has a mini with silver tool box in the back with special rims they should call Crime Stoppers. We want everyone to know that this is happening and they should keep their eyes open.”
Garcia said eight months ago other burglars also broke in to her home through a back door and viciously beat her precious Border Collie named Abby Girl because she was barking.
“They beat me dog so badly that they took out most of her teeth,” she said. “She spent a month in the hospital.”
Nearby, on the same block, Miami-Dade police said another home was burglarized earlier this month.
And across the street, at a third home at SW 38th Street and SW 65th Avenue, Sherri Kelly said her car had been burglarized three times in the past six months.
“They broke into the car through the passenger side window,” she said. “They also broke in through the side of the car and this is pricey in and of itself. They ransacked the car and that is a nuisance. It’s every morning I come out now and I look at the windows of my car to make sure everything is intact and I haven’t been hit again.”
She said a year ago her home was burglarized.
“They came in through the back and they cleaned me out,” she said. “It just rips my heart. This is a wonderful neighborhood. This is a quaint neighborhood. I am scared to live like that.”
Not far away, in the Coral Villas neighborhood, Al Arcidi said his home and truck have been burglarized twice in the past six months.
“I came out one morning and noticed the lock cylinder was gone on the door of the truck,” he said. “It’s been a real issue here with neighbors and people leaving their purses in vehicles that are broken into.”
Arcidi showed CBS4 how burglars tried to break in to his home through the garage.
“You can see where they had a bar and tried to pry it open,” he said. “This is a better area near Coral Gables so it is just surprising that this is happening here now.”
It’s not known if the men in the pick-up truck committed more than one burglary.
Anyone with information that can help Miami-Dade police should call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).