PINECREST (CBSMiami) — New surveillance tape shows two burglars who police say have been busy targeting vacant homes all around the village of Pinecrest.READ MORE: Former NHL Player Kyle Beach Says He Was Raped, Claims Joel Quenneville Did Nothing
They say they have been victimizing homeowners whose homes are for sale or are under renovation.
Police say at least eight vacant homes have been burglarized in the past three months. The burglars have been using work vans and repair trucks. One of the vans may be white. They usually strike in the middle of the night.
“I don’t like it,” said David Rotolante, a longtime resident who is the next-door neighbor of one home that was burglarized on April 19TH.
Police released surveillance tape of that home being burglarized not far from Kendall Drive and U.S. One.
“They must have known the home was under renovation,” Rotolante told CBS4’S Peter D’Oench. “They must have known to come to a home and at a time where no one could see them.”
“You look at the video and you see two burglars walking up to the home and then turning around the camera,” said Michelle Hammontree, a spokeswoman for police and the Village of Pinecrest.
“They are targetting homes that are for sale or are under renovation and are stealing high-end kitchen appliances and patio furniture worth anywhere from $3000 to $79,000 a home,” she said.
“What concerns us is that 8 homes have been burglarized in the last 3 months and basically these criminals can go on line to shop for whatever they want as so much is being put on line when homes are sold these days,” said Hammontree.READ MORE: Miami Beach Mayoral Race: Dan Gelber Seeking Third Term Against Four First-Time Candidates
“That is why we are asking for the public’s help,” she said. “If you live near a vacant house you can help us if you see suspicious activity, you should call 911. These people have usually struck early in the morning or very late at night.”
She said, “We want to get them off the street and make sure homeowners in Pinecrest are safe, homeowners everywhere are safe. We want to help our residents so we need the public’s help.”
That makes sense to Pinecrest homeowners who spoke to us.
Karen Ross, who has live in Pinecrest for more than three decades, said, “People need to be on the lookout and be aware of what is going on and report anything that seems suspicious. I know I am always on the lookout.”
Rotolante said “You need to be on the lookout and if you have an alarm make sure it’s connected to police. I would like to see them caught. It would mean I would feel safe.”
CBS4 also reached out to a number of victims but they declined to comment about the crimes.
Pinecrest Police say they are working with realtors and residents to identify and secure vacant homes.
Hammontree said the Police Chief informed her about another measure that the Village is taking. Police plan to see that special trackers are put on high-end kitchen appliances at vacant homes.MORE NEWS: 62nd Annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show Underway
Anyone who recognizes the men in the video and who thinks they can help Pinecrest Police should call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).