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Boca Raton Police Addresses Car Theft Concerns

by | Dec 14, 2023 | Boca News | 0 comments

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BOCA RATON, FL (Boca Post) (Copyright © 2023) — Boca Raton residents are concerned about the increase of severity and frequency of auto thefts in the area.

Residents of the Golden Harbour and the Golden Triangle communities in eastern Boca Raton say that they have been disproportionately affected by car theft and are asking for additional patrols in the area as well as that the city revisit its pursuit policy. Many residents spoke publicly about their concerns at a Boca Raton City Council workshop and a regular meeting earlier this week. One resident said that over $1M dollars of cars has been stolen in just the last week.

Residents say that 10% of Golden Harbour and Golden Triangle residents have had a vehicle stolen from their driveway.

Joe Majhess told city council that he understands the potential consequences of police chases. To spite that, Majhess says the city needs to “revisit our policies on chase”. This is echoed by frustrated residents who say they are tired of BRPD “escorting” vehicles out of town after reporting auto thefts.

Majhess says that a BRPD Officer once told him “We escort a vehicle out of the city once per night”, in reference to when officers attempt to pull over the auto theft suspects.

During the workshop, Boca Raton Police Chief Michele Miuccio was called to respond to questions from City council members and the public. Chief Miuccio started her response with, “Soft on crime, no”. This was in response to some complaints made by frustrated, tax-paying residents.

In response to claims that BRPD officers are “escorting” suspects out of the city, Chief Miuccio says that is not the case. Chief Miuccio said that the suspects flee when officers turn on their emergency lights. “Officers try to follow them, but they are not allowed to pursue per state statute”, adds Chief Miuccio. Further, Chief Miuccio says she compared BRPD policies to other departments and that she hasn’t seen one that allows the department to chase for theft.

According to Chief Miuccio, thieves are showing up in stolen cars and then hitting 2-3 cars in the neighborhood because they are already there. “Please do not keep your key fobs in your vehicles”, Chief Miuccio says. “These guys do see the indicators”, Chief Miuccio added.

Golden Harbour and the Golden Triangle residents complained that there is not enough patrol in their neighborhoods, one of them says that their CCTV system captured video of only one patrol car in 10 days. Chief Miuccio says that patrols in the area have been greatly increased but it may not be obvious as BRPD is mostly using unmarked patrol cars.

Chief Miuccio reassured the council that the theft problem is not isolated to Golden Harbour and the Golden Triangle but that they are constantly dealing with car theft and burglaries throughout their jurisdiction. “We are throwing as much assets at it as we can”, Chief Miuccio added.

Chief Miuccio added that unlike TV, it takes law enforcement a long time to get a hit on DNA evidence.

Even though criminals are using SDR based devices to break into vehicles, use of sophisticated hacker-like tools is not the norm. More than half of the thefts in the city are because the car doors were unlocked and the key fobs inside of the car. BRPD continues to remind the public to lock your car doors and do not leave your key fob in your car.

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