Security lacking at senior living facility where multiple victims robbed, residents say
Property manager partially blames residents for leaving fire exits open
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Police are investigating after more than a dozen elderly people said they were beaten and robbed at a senior center in southwest Miami-Dade.
Some residents at the Casa Devon senior living facility told Local 10 News they are too scared to even walk out of their building for fear they will be beaten and robbed.
A Miami-Dade police officer is now stationed outside the apartments, but residents say the officer is not always there.
"Just walking the street to a friend's house or the mall, or even to McDonald's for coffee -- I mean, I'm scared to do that," one resident said.
Residents at the senior center said the armed assaults and robberies have occurred over the past few months.
"Somebody jumped out with a gun and told me, 'Give me all your things,'" one resident said.
The resident, who did not want to be identified, said the armed thief took off with his backpack in the parking lot last November.
"Wallet, which had my bank card, my ID," he said.
But he is not the only victim.
Another resident identified as Esther, 81, showed us her doctor's note that said she was robbed and assaulted while in the same parking lot late last month.
Her body is still bruised after the attack.
Neighbors said the assaults are more frequent with no security in the building.
Property manager Martha Alfonso said the building is now under new ownership and, as a result, there has been no security for the past three months.
But Alfonso said residents, too, are to blame for the incidents.
"They don't respect the rules and regulations, because they leave through the fire doors and they leave it open," she said.
Alfonso believes propping open fire exits is how thieves are making their way inside the building.
As for the victims who spoke with Local 10's Roy Ramos, they said just closing the door behind them is not the answer to their problem.
"I believe there should be an off-duty police officer or at least an armed guard," one resident said.
Miami-Dade police said they are aware of the incidents and are investigating.
As for security at the facility, Alfonso said they hope to hire a new security company within the month.
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