Pinecrest’s ‘well-guarded’ homes not deterring crime ring looking to steal cars

PINECREST, Fla. – Well-guarded Pinecrest homes are not deterring crime rings from jumping walls and going over fences trying to steal cars.

For resident William Alger, it’s the tenth time his alarms have gone off and he has seen people running from his home. They are after his cars.

Chief Jason Cohen of Pinecrest Police says this is a small part of a big problem.

“What they are looking for are unlocked vehicles with the key fobs left in the vehicle,” who says the crime rings at work are targeting homes that seem like they are pretty well guarded, but oftentimes the thieves have been successful at homes in several cities throughout South Florida.

“When we talk to other agencies that are having the same problem, the m.o. is very similar. It’s usually a group of three or four guys in one car. They are usually coming into neighborhoods driving a higher-end car so that it doesn’t stick out,” said Cohen.

Cohen said they’re after the cars themselves and 75 percent of the vehicles stolen in Pinecrest have been cars with key fobs left inside. Police say if they don’t find a fob, they take whatever they can from every unlocked car.

The common variable is that many homeowners are clearly letting their guards down. They are assuming that gates, walls and cameras are more than enough. South Dade cities are places where crimes are at the highest. Authorities are reminding homeowners to lock their car doors and not leave keys inside no matter where you live or how secure you think your home is.

Pinecrest police are looking through license plate readers trying to find additional leads in the cases.

About the Authors:

Andrew Perez is a South Florida native who joined the Local 10 News team in May 2014.

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true-crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local