NORTH MIAMI(CBSMiami)—North Miami Police displayed nearly 20 confiscated, fake weapons and surveillance tape of alleged car burglars and arrested a fugitive from Broward County as part of a daylong sweep of their city aimed at curbing crime.
CBS4’s Peter D’Oench was there during Operation Safe Streets which is normally conducted once a month. It uses dozens of police officers all over the city. One focus of this month’s operation was targeting burglars and identity theft.
Police released new surveillance tape of two women who they say broke into a vehicle at the Biscayne Animal Hospital at 1665 N.E. 123rd St. on Monday, May 11th and stole items. Then then allegedly went to a Wal-Mart store at 3200 N.W. 79th Street and used the victim’s stolen bank card to purchase $500 worth of items.
Police say the two subjects in the surveillance tape are black females, who appear to be in their 20s. One woman has long black hair. The other has black and green hair. They were seen in a newer model, blue, 4-door Chevrolet that may be a Malibu.
North Miami Police officers were shown the videotape during a morning roll call at police headquarters. They also released a flyer showing the woman as well.
Officer Natalie Buissereth told D’Oench, “Before people used to look for loose change and valuables. Now they are stepping up. They are going for identity theft. They are stealing your wallet. They want your identity. They want your credit cards so they go on to committing more expensive crimes.”
“If anyone has seen these two women, they are partners in crime and we would like to get them off the street,” she said.
Buissereth told D’Oench she urges people to be careful to keep from becoming a victim.
“When you lock your car door, if you have anything of value, lock that in your trunk and do that when you start out leaving your home,” said Buissereth.
At that same roll call, North Miami Police Commander Angel Rivera displayed 17 fake weapons that had been confiscated by police crime suppression units during the past two years in previous operations as well as two pellet guns that were confiscated last Thursday from two juveniles who are 12 and 14-years old.
Rivera said one of the youngster’s had the fake weapon in his waist band and they were seen in an alleyway by a Chase Bank at N.E. 9th Ave. and 125th St. Rivera said a Brinks truck was nearby and he said the juveniles might have been intending to rob it.
He said the two juveniles were not arrested but will receive counseling and their families have been notified.
Rivera said of the pellet guns, “They can be used to commit a crime. People can come up to anyone with them. They may not know it is a pellet gun and they can be used to commit a robbery as people would with a real firearm.”
D’Oench followed police up N.E. 6th Ave to 151st St. where they arrested 35-year-old Mackendy Saint-Surin. They say he was a fugitive from Broward County, where he was wanted for burglary and third degree grand theft.
The arresting police officer said Saint-Surin was arrested after she spotted him littering. She also said he was not wearing a seat belt. She said she found out about Saint-Surin’s record after she checked his identification.
Police also raided a now-closed landscaping business on N.W. 7th Avenue where they said there was a problem with homeless squatters who were living there and who had been breaking into nearby businesses.
With guns drawn, they entered the decrepit building with overgrown vegetation inside it. They found no homeless people but there was evidence that they were living there.
Buissereth said, “We did find evidence of people setting up camp here and at night, they were committing crimes.”
Buissereth said anyone who recognized the two women on the surveillance tape at the Wal-Mart store should call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).
She also said the message of Operation Safe Streets was that lawbreakers entering North Miami should realize that the city had a “Zero Tolerance” policy for crime and is cracking down.