MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Miami-Dade police are investigating after a rash of vehicle burglaries occurred this week in one neighborhood.
Residents of the Snapper Creek Townhomes gated community off Southwest 68th Terrace and 114th Avenue said the burglaries occurred in the early morning hours of Tuesday and Wednesday.
One resident, Nathalie Louie, told Local 10 News that her white Hyundai Santa Fe Sport was among the vehicles burglarized on Wednesday.
She said her Ray-Ban sunglasses were stolen, along with a credit card and some gift cards.
Surveillance video from another resident shows two young men appearing to check whether vehicles had been left unlocked in one driveway.
Louie believes she accidentally left her car doors unlocked overnight, but said other neighbors didn’t and the thieves smashed their car windows to get inside.
Louie said she believed between 15 and 20 vehicles were burglarized this week due to comments that were posted on the Nextdoor app, however, another victim said a security guard for the community told him they have confirmed that five vehicles were targeted.
That victim, Danny Lehnhard, told Local 10 News that his checkbook was stolen from the center console of his Ford Explorer early Tuesday morning.
He said he had to call his bank and cancel the checks.
He’s also thinking about canceling his entire account and transferring the money, because the burglars now have his account number and routing number, and he’s worried about becoming a victim of identity theft.
“They stole my checks. I did feel violated. And it’s a shame that this has to happen,” he said. “It seems like a pattern that’s happening lately. Instead of breaking in, it’s easier just to go in the doors and check out, you know, any items they can get, cash or jewelry, and it’s an easy getaway.”
Lehnhard and Louie said they both plan to get security cameras for their townhomes.
“I have lived here for years and have always felt it to be a safe place, but I’m worried about the safety in the neighborhood now, and I am not sure how this is happening or how these criminals are having access to our neighborhood,” Louie said. “The association said they might come on foot, but I don’t think that’s an excuse. Security needs to be alert. As a gated community, this should not be happening to so many people.”
Lehnhard sits on the Board of Directors for the community and said he’s going to recommend that the roving 24-hour security guards make more rounds in the neighborhood.
Anyone with information about the burglars' identities is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.