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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Neighbors concerned about rise in crime

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Neighbors in the South Grove are concerned about crime and they have called an emergency meeting to speak about it. They have sent a letter to county Mayor Carlos Gimenez and asked him to attend. 

Recent crimes in the six block area around Loquat, Avacado, Palmetto, Royal Palm, Franklin and Charles Avenue, borderd by Douglas Road and Hibiscus Street has neighbors on edge. There have been car and home breakins, gunpoint assaults, vandalism and thefts. And it's not just the South Grove, this was High Gear Cycling early this morning on Main Highway -- a break-in overnight.


While the neighbors feel that the City and NRO officers are on top of it, they feel the need for more enforcement in the area. Neighbor John Reid, along with our local Commander Richard Gentry will meet with neighbors on Tuesday, July 24 at the Plymouth Congregational Church inside the Pilgrim House. The meeting is scheduled to be from 7:15 to 8:30 pm.

I know that many don't like when I write about crime, but this is a concern and people need to know what is going on and to be alert wherever they are. Note that this is not just Coconut Grove, but it's happening all over, probably a sign of the poor economy and hard times. The Grove has less crime than most neighborhoods, but we are not immune by any means.

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31 Comments:

Anonymous Concerned neighbor said...

I live on Virginia between Bird and US1. Saturday afternoon I had a knock on my door, by the time I got to the door I went outside and saw 2 people in a car speeding off. Then Sunday night at about 1:30 I was awoken by somebody shakling my front door trying to get in. They ran off after spitting by my front door and leaving my front gate wide open. Seems to be a growing problem

July 19, 2012 11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is what happens when businesses are closed. Sarnoff wants nobody in the street for legitimate purposes at night, and then, the streets are left to be filled by criminals, having their way.

This wouldn't have happened when we had a handful of bars open till 5:00am and younger 20somethings walking around and enjoying the neighborhood at all hours. Empty streets, boarded up businesses - Detroit here we come.

July 19, 2012 11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so close to leaving. it's no fun to have to replace your car window every other week.

July 19, 2012 11:52 AM  
Anonymous Ali said...

Use a night watchman.

July 19, 2012 12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the poster who claims that having the bars open till 5am would lower the crime in the Grove.....
Do you really think having people drinking until 5am and then driving home is the cure?
Really?

July 19, 2012 12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

please dont leave, or keep anything in your car that someone might want to break in and take.

July 19, 2012 12:25 PM  
Anonymous Joshua Stevens said...

This situation and article further proves my premise that Coconut Grove should secede from the City of Miami and Dade County! If the Free City of Coconut Grove was responsible for protecting itself, it would have to ensure that it provided the protection services that Coconut Grove citizens demanded. However, since we are part of the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County, we now have to do what they say and get the protection service that they dictate; regardless of whether people in Coconut Grove demanded these protection services or not. In other words, the Coconut Grove community is different than other communities just like I'm different than my neighbor. However, combining all of these communities together and calling it the City of Miami causes some communities to get what they demand, but causes other communities to not get what the demand. This would be minimized greatly if Coconut Grove became its own city. This is true for protective services as well as other services.

July 19, 2012 12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We couldn't even get people to come out and vote Sarnoff out of office. How are we going to rally enough residents to help us secede?

July 19, 2012 12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately the majority of voters in Miami vote for the last name, not the issues.

Realistically, what are the chances of seceding when City Hall sits on some of the most beautiful and valuable property in the Grove.

Maybe we can tear down THAT building and put in a park. Then all the bureaucrats can drive and park and do their back room deals somewhere downtown.

July 19, 2012 1:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must agree with this I live in the center of the grove and my truck was vandalized to the point that it could not be driven on wednesday morning. It was parked in the Sonesta parking garage.I have been living here for many years and I have been hearing of more crime now than when the grove had all the bars nighlubs and a nightlife.

July 19, 2012 1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go grab a lawn chair, park your behind in front of Coco-Walk from 3am till 6am and count how many times you see a cop. I have been around the grove at these times for years and Police presence is laughable.

Now if you do want to see a cop, I know a few places that you will most likely run into them. One can be found at the boat ramp, tucked away in a corner. Another hot spot is the bank at the corner of 27th and Bayshore, all nestled up under the big awning. The place to find all of them together is the hotel behind the shell gas station, easily 4 or 5 of them.

Maybe a little more patrolling and a little less sleeping would clean the place up a bit. Just my 2 cents!

Also, any reason all the street lights are turned off from Peacock to Kennedy? Sure would nice to be able to see where I am running and who is around me. Might also scare a crook away if the place is lit up and they can’t sneak through the night.

Police patrols and lit up areas have proven to decrease crime, it isn’t rocket science!

July 19, 2012 1:46 PM  
Anonymous Joshua Stevens said...

To Anonymous who said "we couldn't even get enough people to vote Sarnoff out..how can we rally enough residents to secede?" First, we could educate the public about the benefits of secession. This could be performed by having a community meeting some place, such as The Bookstore in the Grove, and educating the local community. Next, explain to the residents of Midtown, Little Havana, and etc. the benefits of Coconut Grove and their own communities seceding. Also, there would have to be some type of incentive to secede, in other words a reason to secede. It would have to be one that a significant amount of Grove residents agreed upon, such as the Playhouse or lack of police protection for example. I have never legally seceded before, however, I understand the ideas, theory, history, and economics of secession.

July 19, 2012 2:29 PM  
Anonymous Adrian Acosta said...

Cops are too busy eating flannigans at 3am. so sad. My car has almost been broken into 2 times in the past 2 months. luckily i have a car alarm and every time i hear it go off i go to check on it and there are like cop cars at flannigans. WTF!!!

July 19, 2012 2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

within the last 6 months
4 windows on my car - change,cd's and a phone charger stolen
2 windows my girlfriends car - change stolen
2 windows my neighbor - radio and change
4 bicycles (locked up in the backyard)

enough is enough... Overtown is probably safer today.
oh and not to mention when you call the cops 2 hours later a public aide officer not a cop shows up and gives you a yellow card(report)

I love the grove and everything about it, but it's just getting to be a hassle living here. I hope things change soon.

July 19, 2012 3:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did they reduce their patrols after people complained about that lone officer who was driving around with his lights on?

July 19, 2012 3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just to add to the list of complaints/incidents with no results:
my house was burgalarized a year ago (1:30pm). I have surveillance footage of the thief walking out of my house with my TV and 2 computers and loading them into a car (15 feet from the camera). Showed the cops all the footage, didn't get return calls from them. I went driving around the grove found the car, tag, and name of the guys. Reported it to cop and they told me they are trying to build a bigger case. A year later i still see the their driving around my neighborhood.
Recently had phone stolen by a homeless man (midnight). Found him with my phones GPS because 20 minutes later cops hadn't showed up. I finally drove to the cop at Milam's and had him approach the theif. He had ditched the phone just earlier so the resolution was to drive him to downtown and drop him off there (cop told me "if you want to commit a crime, do it in Miami-Dade county) THrow our problems somewhere else!
Lastly. My friends house was being house sat last week. LAte at night (430am) he hears the door be rattled, opens the door thinking its a friend, gets "beat up" by 2 thieves. They run.
I love living in the grove for the last 8 years...i remember my parents experiencing petty thefts but now that its happening to me I'm realizing how much it sucks

July 19, 2012 4:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is what happens when we are a ghost town "village" at night. Just because we are empty does not mean we will have no crime. I think the oppiste will happen. It opens the doors to more criminal ativity becuase who is looking no one.

July 19, 2012 4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to see you REPORT ABOUT CRIME PLEASE. Thank you!!! It helps us protect our families.

Tony--"The Troll under the Bridge"

July 19, 2012 6:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree! Please post stories like this when you hear about them. I had no idea there was so much happening, and found most of it out from our post and these comments.

I remember when there were women raped a couple years ago, and it really made me be on guard. I have been a lot more lax, though, now that time has passed, and definitely not as cautious at night.
Although I love living in the Grove and appreciate knowing the crime rate tends to be lower here, nothing it wrong with losing a bit of that naiveté if it means being safe.

July 19, 2012 6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I lived in the North Grove for many years and I had my car broken into dozens of times. At one point it was happening almost weekly! I finally had it and moved out the Grove and to a safer area for my kids. As much as I loved living there I couldn't take the crime anymore.

July 19, 2012 8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know a couple that got mugged coming back from Sandbar at 11 pm..

July 20, 2012 8:19 AM  
Anonymous swlip said...

Arm yourselves, folks. ACE Pro Indoor shooting range (near the International Mall) and Trail Glades offer firearms safety courses for novices.

Also, a very fierce sounding dog helps. A lot.

July 20, 2012 8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last week, on a sunny afternoon, I parked and dashed into Home Depot. Upon my return, a policeman and the owner of a BMW stood near my car examining the BMW's freshly bashed-in window. Thank you, Tom, for keeping all posted.

July 20, 2012 9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony- I swear the troll comment was for the guy 'screaming' in all caps, not you. :)

Grapevine - Over the years I've had friends attacked by gangs, my grandmother mugged twice and her house broken into several times, had my jaw broken after being jumped by a gang, and a friend, Scotty, shot in the head and killed after using the ATM at Shell on 27th and that's just scratching the surface. I've even had a friend shot by the cops and had them plant a gun on him afterwards which ended up as national news.

There has always been crime in the Grove and it's absurd to me when I hear commenters state that having the bars stay open till 5am will solve the problem. From the mid 80's to the mid 90's the sirens started at 3pm and didn't stop till 3am.

If the cops were actually on patrol (read as high visibility, not aggressive harassment) instead of hanging out at Flannigan's or behind Shell or harassing the sleeping homeless it might make a difference.

Keep up reporting on ALL the happening in the Grove, sir.
"Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations."
-Orwell

Keep it up Grapevine! :)

-Old Fart

July 20, 2012 11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From what I understand the break ins and violence has seen an uptick lately. Don't forget the holidays are right around the corner and we always see more of an increase during that time period.

At this point, we should have our own little George Zimmerman like incident any day now . . .

On a bright note, I was driving down Oak yesterday, and I think a family in a minivan did not perform a complete stop and the officer promptly pulled this individual over. Safety first people . . .

July 20, 2012 12:07 PM  
Blogger Brian Breslin said...

Grape: I'd like to see this type of news. If you aren't reporting it, no one else will.

I would love to see simple measures taken, like a police substation put in, use one of the empty storefronts. Add emergency phones w/lights like they have on college campuses. Adding patrols would also be useful. Improved lighting in pedestrian areas would be useful. Educating residents on simple measures they can take (motion sensor lights, security cameras, alarm systems, etc).

I generally think the grove is safer than MANY other neighborhoods in Miami. I have friends whose homes have been robbed many times in coral gables or brickell.

All these problems our village faces are interconnected: empty storefronts, lack of customers (they don't feel safe), lackluster businesses, etc.

July 20, 2012 5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate to be the bearer of more bad news but there was another very obvious crime this week in center grove. Shipping avenue between Virginia and Mary were completely defaced this week. Cars were spray painted as were properties and sidewalks. The comments were all politically charged! My question is how did such an obvious crime occur without a single cop driving down these streets? What is happening to our Village?

July 21, 2012 9:49 AM  
Blogger sungi said...

Dear Coconut Grove Grapevine,

Thank you for covering the topic of crime in our community. My boyfriend and I just moved here about three weeks ago and last night we were jumped while walking down Franklin Street. We were walking at around 9:40 pm, minding our own business, when a young adult walked past us slowly. Suddenly, he pushed my boyfriend down and another male appeared out of nowhere several feet behind him. I went on autopilot and fought back with the attacker (probably not the best idea) and got hit in my head. Luckily, however, when they saw I fought back, they ran away. Nothing was stolen, but my boyfriend and I had a few scratches and we were both really shaken up. We called 911 and reported the crime to Office Tom Vokaty, a few minutes later.

I am sickened by this violence in our community. I feel that everyone has the right to safe streets and it angers me that ours was violated last night. My boyfriend and I are good people: He's an accountant at a nonprofit think tank and I do Social Media/Outreach at another nonprofit. We care about our neighborhood and we want to take action to prevent this from happening to anyone ever again. I would love to start a neighborhood crime watch (unless one already exists?) That would help patrolling these streets. I hope that you can continue to highlight this problem of community violence in your blog, along with effective strategies and events where we can work to implement solutions.

July 25, 2012 8:43 AM  
Blogger Grapevine said...

We actually do have a Crime Watch, which is a joke. They are more concerned about patting themselves on the back than helping the community. When they took me off their email list because I disagree with their fearless leader, that proved to me that they didn't care about stopping any crime or helping every neighbor to combat crime. Maybe you should start an all inclusive Crime Watch group where we can all participate.

July 25, 2012 8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Grove Grapevine,

Thank you for your continued honesty. I agree with you 100 percent. I stopped going to crime watch meeting because all you hear is how crime is the lowest in the Grove in comparison to our surrounding neighbors. I am not sure where they pull their statistics but it doesnt help anyone when they alter the truth. Thank you for all you do in keeping us informed about the truth in our community. Its a shame that with the amount of taxes we pay someone still has the odasity to tell us there is a shortage on cops.....These excuses are getting OLD!

July 25, 2012 9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to poke fun in a post about a serious issue but what's with someone saying:
The holidays are right around the corner....
Which holidays? We're in July.
It's more than another month before we even get to Labor Day. Columbus day is 2 months away.
Date wise, we're closer to having celebrated St. Patrick's day than Thanksgiving.
Thanks for a moment of levity.

July 25, 2012 1:37 PM  

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