This month there was what seemed to be an usually high number of criminal or mischievous activity on Davis Islands. Below are copies of emails sent from the Neighborhood Watch email list or posted to Nextdoor.com Davis Islands.
February 17, 2016 – Neighborhood Watch Email
We had a rash of auto burglaries on Riviera Drive and Lucerne again last night. I’ve also had a report from Ladoga where the vehicle was unlocked and the police were not notified.
There were several police officers and the crime scene technician working the area this morning. Apparently most of the vehicles were locked and windows were smashed. One individual I spoke with had his window broken but the thieves did not gain access. He stated his wallet was visible sitting on the console.
This is the key, folks. I know we have harped constantly about locking your vehicles, and now, they break the windows. If there is nothing of value visible, they will simply move along to the next car. They will not risk breaking a window and possibly setting off an alarm if there is no reward to be realized.
As I mentioned in my email the other day, I personally assumed the role of a crook (with police supervision) and went from car to car in the middle of the night illuminating the interior with a flashlight. When valuables were seen we left a note on the windshield explaining that the owner could have awakened the next morning to a broken window and missing stuff.
We discovered golf clubs, laptops, an expensive bicycle, wallets, purses, various electronic devices, pricey sunglasses and employee passes granting access to secured areas at hospitals and airports. In one vehicle in addition to a laptop and purse, the car keys were sitting in the driver’s seat!
Had I or my police companions been crooks that early morning, we would have been well compensated for a few hours ‘work.’
Please take the extra effort to avoid having your belongings become a tempting target. Riviera Drive and the surrounding streets were hit hard last night. Why? Possibly because the same area was so lucrative a week or so back.
If crime doesn’t pay on Davis Islands the bad guys may go disturb your friends in other parts of town.
Stay safe and vigilant!
February 12 – Neighborhood Watch Email
There has been a rash of auto burglaries in South Tampa in recent weeks. In an effort to reduce the likelihood, I was invited to assist TPD with a pro-active response to the problem.
I met with several officers yesterday morning at 0500 and we began with apartments on Davis Islands, then moved over to Beach Park. Going from car to car we would shine flashlights in the automobiles to determine if anything of value was visible and enticing to would be thieves. We found golf clubs, laptops, numerous electronic devices and a road bicycle worth over $2000. One disturbing find was a doctors white smock, lab coat or whatever with a name on it, and in the center console was the TGH identification badge. One of the officers mentioned that someone equipped with those items could pretty much have the run of the hospital. Later in the morning we found, again on the center console, Delta Airlines credentials possibly granting access to secured areas of the airports. With today’s technology it isn’t that difficult to alter a photograph, or possibly have someone even look at it closely.
Throughout the morning we discovered the overwhelming percentage of the vehicles we checked had something of value visible. There were expensive sunglasses galore, purses, wallets, tennis racquets and other sports equipment. In one vehicle there was a laptop on the passenger seat, a large expensive looking ladies purse on the console between the seats, and the car keys were on the driver’s seat. It was a relatively expensive Toyota SUV. It was early morning and the officer rang the doorbell and spoke to the owner who seemed unconcerned about it. Had we been thieves, the owner would have been busy for a while with her credit cards, replacing her driver’s license, etc. and explaining to her insurance company how her car disappeared.
One tip I would pass along concerns valet keys. When you pick up your shiny new car at the dealership, the salesman probably walks you through the operation of all the bells and whistles in your new toy, then tells you your owners manual will be right there in the glove box for easy access, and by the way, the valet key is tucked in there. Remove it!!
If you found a flyer on your windshield yesterday morning giving you an attaboy for a “clean” car, congratulations. Otherwise, be advised and save yourselves some trouble. Many auto policies have a substantial deductible and may not cover the cost of replacing that broken window.
Stay safe, and remember to always be aware of your surroundings.
February 18, 2016 – Nextdoor.com
This week I have had 2 small brush fires started on my front lawn. This occurred on Monday and Wednesday between about 3:00 to 5:30 PM. The police have indicated that at least 7 additional occurrences were reported on Davis Island in the last 2 weeks. Please report any suspicious activity immediately.
February 17, 2016 – Nextdoor.com
Hello! Our car got broken into last night and our daughters school backpack was stolen with all of her school supplies in it. If you happen to find a American flag jansport backpack with a blue three ring binder, a pink three ring binder, an accordion folder and a planner ir any papers