By: Sharon Aron Baron
After the Broward Sheriff’s Office Crime Suppression Team worked steady midnight shifts over the summer, car break-ins which have plagued the city, dropped even lower than the prior year.
Following a spike of 96 car break-ins in May, resulting in one-third for all crime for the City of Tamarac, BSO Captain Neal Glassman said that their crime suppression team, consisting of a sergeant and five detectives, drove down the numbers in June and July at a time when they typically go up.
Two of the worst hit areas for car break-ins were in the Westwood neighborhoods, Hidden Harbour Apartments, Springlake and the Woodlands Country Club.
The high numbers are far different from 2013 where one-third of all crime in Tamarac was the result of home burglaries. Now home burglaries are going down, and car break-ins have increased.
At the city commission workshop on Monday, Glassman warned that apartment and condo parking lots may be easy targets for those that come from out-of-town to commit crimes and said that as part of educating residents, they put message boards in parks and at the entrances of developments to get people to be aware, as well as to remind them to keep their vehicles locked and to remove their valuables.
“About half of our car break-ins involve vehicles that are unlocked,” he said.
He reported that a woman had $6,000 in jewelry stolen from a car that she left out overnight without locking it.
Residents are also leaving handguns inside of their cars and this year, there have been a total of 17 stolen from cars – the majority of which were left unlocked.
“In a normal year we have three, four, maybe five tops,” he said.
TOP 5 OFFENDER RESIDENCE: 32.1% of offenders live in the city of Tamarac. The graph below is a breakdown of the cities Tamarac offenders reside in.
TOP 5 OFFENDER RESIDENCE: 26.1% of offenders live in the city of Tamarac. The graph below is a breakdown of the cities Tamarac Burglary Conveyance (car break-in) offenders reside in.
Vice Mayor Debra Placko was surprised that so many people who were arrested lived in the city. She said she always heard that it was ‘surrounding areas.’
That’s actually a very good number, said City Manager Michael Cernech. “What that says is that the people in your community are alright….it’s a good community.”
Glassman said that the numbers are consistent with last year: two-thirds of those that were arrested in Tamarac did not reside in the city.
City Commissioner Michelle Gomez felt the number of residents committing crimes was too large.
“A people like to say, it’s Tamarac, this is supposed to be a sleepy town.”
Glassman responded, “I would ask you to look at it this way, out of a population of 63-64,000 approximately, 126 were arrested in eight months of the year. It’s not a large number.”
Cernech said that if you look at crime stats and where we fall among 31 cities in Broward County, we are still one of the safest places.
“It’s a very small number, a small percentage of residents that you’re seeing getting arrested for crimes in this community,” said Cernech.