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NEWS

April 8th, 2013

Key Biscayne residents continue to fall victim to fraud

K

ey Biscayners continue to be the victims of fraud and fraud attempts.
Staff at The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne Miami said they recently derailed a fraudulent phone scam. An unknown male called from a blocked number and asked to be transferred to several guests’ rooms.
The caller, using the name of the manager on duty, told guests he was calling from the front desk and needed their credit card information because the hotel had lost their reservation information. The assistant manager advised his staff and corporate headquarters of the scam attempt. He said it is a common fraud scheme in the hotel industry.
An Ocean Lane Drive resident received correspondence from Midland Credit Management telling him they had recently purchased his debt from Chase Bank USA in the amount of $23,433.74. The man had recently moved to the United States and has never dealt with Chase or the credit company.
Internet research makes numerous references to Midland as a fraudulent company and a scam.
A 41-year-old Crandon Boulevard man reported that an unauthorized person had attempted to open four credit cards using his name and Social Security number.
A 39-year-old Crandon woman reported fraudulent use of her debit card. The woman told police that while her debit card had never left her possession, someone withdrew a total of $2,618 from her checking account at ATMs in Weston and in Doral.
The son of a Harbor Lane Drive woman told police fraud had been attempted on his 92-year-old mother. The mother received a letter from the Social Security Administration that her online account had been opened. When the man, who is his mother’s power of attorney, call Social Security, he was informed an address change had also been made from her address to another Harbor Lane Drive address.
A 48-year-old Village of Key Biscayne employee told police of a fraudulent unemployment compensation claim filed in her name.
A 57-year-old Harbor Drive woman reported someone had filed for an income tax return using her Social Security number.
A realty business owner reported fraud when an unauthorized person used her business account debit card to go online and purchase furniture from Rooms To Go.
Another attempted scam occurred when a Crandon business owner received a call from someone claiming to be from Florida Power and Light who requested three money orders totaling $1,800.95.
Since the business owner pays his FPL bill electronically, he knew the call was an attempted scam and wanted to make the Key Biscayne Police Department aware.
A 53-year-old Ocean Lane Drive woman who is employed at a school in Miami told police someone tried to file an unemployment claim in her name.

Don’t drink, smoke and drive
A construction worker was arrested on the Rickenbacker Causeway for DUI after police stopped him for driving in the opposing lane of traffic. The driver, who emitted a strong odor of alcohol, had slurred speech and bloodshot eyes and said he was lost and looking for Kendall.
A Hialeah woman was arrested on suspicion of DUI when police observed her passed out at the wheel of her vehicle with the keys in the ignition. She told police she rarely drinks but had earlier in the day found out her spouse was cheating.
The driver of a parked car was arrested after he told police the marijuana he and his passengers were observed smoking was his. Police saw the vehicle parked on Village Green Way.
Friends don’t let friends
off the boat
A 19-year-old intoxicated male, stranded by his friends who left him behind, was found wandering around the Key Biscayne Yacht Club.
He had lost all his belongings, including his phone, and had no way of communicating with anyone who could help him. He eventually remembered his girlfriend’s number, and she agreed to come get him.
Yacht Club security allowed the cooperative man to stay until she got there to pick him up.

Bike thefts
Two bicycles were stolen – a light aqua Giant women’s bike and a white and green Tony Hawk boy’s bike – from an Ocean Lane Drive unit. The bikes were kept unsecured in the owner’s parking space in the building’s garage. The boy’s bike was later returned to its owner. A friend of the boy had borrowed it.
A child’s bicycle was stolen from the grass on Ridgewood Drive and West Heather Drive, where a family left it and walked to the Village Green momentarily. The Hampton Lane mother told police a Big Wheels riding toy was also stolen from their yard two or three weeks ago, an incident she did not report. The woman was advised to keep bicycles secure at all times.
A child’s bike, left unsecured, was stolen from the bike rack at the Key Biscayne K-8 Center.
A $4,000 triathlon bicycle was taken from a private storage area at the owner’s Crandon residence. The bike was unlocked on a wall-mounted bike rack.

Disputes
The owner of a Crandon apartment told police her tenants have moved out after expressing concern for their safety and that of their children. A resident in a neighboring unit, who is apparently mentally ill, has screamed at them for no apparent reason, frightening them and their children.
Two men engaged in a verbal dispute in front of the Yacht Club after one man gave the other the middle finger. The two were separated and left the area without further incident.
A man accused an employee of a mobile car wash of damaging a cup holder while vacuuming his car. The employee was sure he did not. A conflict ensued and police were called.

Mischief and vandalism
The owner of a golf cart parked in the carport on Allendale Road saw two kids sitting in the cart. When the owner confronted them, one said, “I feel sick,” then they both ran off. No damage was done to the cart.
Surveillance cameras recorded four young women and four young men entering a back yard on Harbor Point while the homeowner was out of town. One of the males was seen throwing yard decorations into the pool and onto the pool deck. The next day, the same subjects were recorded walking through the back yard to access the beach area.
A Crandon man reported his vehicle was scratched on its right side while parked at the Key Colony tennis courts. He estimates the damage to be about $200. This is not the first time, the man said – his car has been scratched on several occasions in the same lot.
A Greenwood Drive woman reported damage to her 2008 silver Mercedes when she parked in a parking lot on Greenwood. Someone had scratched both the driver and passenger doors and damaged the hood.
A man in a pickup truck driving in the vicinity of the K-8 Center was observed opening and closing mailboxes. Police could not determine if anything was taken or left behind.
A vandal tossed a rock through a window at a Sunrise Drive gated construction site.

Prank calls,
solicitation and noise
A man claiming to represent his brother’s auto repair shop attempted to solicit business by knocking on the door of an Island Drive residence and offering to fix her car.
A 30-year-old Island Drive resident was issued a citation for a noise violation for playing his music too loud. The resident had been issued several warnings prior to this incident.

Grand theft auto
A man who was driving a stolen car ran a stop sign on North Mashta Drive, but refused to stop for police. The car, travelling at high speed, then collided with a marked Key Biscayne Police car that was trying to get out of its way.
The driver continued onto I-95, into Miami and finally collided with a curb at 167th Street and 9th Avenue, where he was arrested. Police had been following at a safe distance. A gun was found in a bag on the passenger’s side of the vehicle.
A handful of juvenile thieves were arrested for stealing a Porsche earlier the same day from a South Mashta Drive residence. The car was returned to its owner.

Burglary and theft
A burglary at the Artisan Restaurant resulted in the loss of two cash drawers and a small safe. The thief entered the business with a key and then smashed the glass door from the inside. The safe was located in a second floor crawl space accessible only by ladder. There were no alarms or security cameras at the business.
A large number of linens were stolen from an outside storage bin at Puntino Restaurant, including tablecloths, napkins, and towels. This is the second time linens have been stolen from the same bin.
Vito’s Restaurant was also a previous linen theft target.
A Hallandale Beach woman’s car was broken into and personal items were stolen while she was parked at Crandon Marina.

Injuries
Key Biscayne Police and Fire-Rescue units assisted Miami Fire-Rescue boats as four fishermen were pulled from the water after their boat capsized during overnight hours 3 miles east of Bear Cut Bridge. One man swam to shore and called for help.
Miami Fire-Rescue boats pulled the other three from the water. All four were transported to the hospital, suffering from hypothermia.
A 65-year-old Crandon woman, while walking between West Wood Drive and West Mashta, had to step onto the grassy swale because a landscaping truck was parked blocking the path. The woman tripped on a piece of rebar and fell, injuring her knees and fracturing her pinky finger.
A 65-year old Key Colony resident was injured when she was attempting to follow a car out of the vehicle exit lane. The arm closed in front of her, causing her to fall from her bicycle. The fall caused swelling and a cut on her head.
She accused the security guard of purposely activating the arm. When the security guard offered assistance, she called him a “killer.” That’s when he called police. The police report noted signs are posted warning cyclists to avoid areas of the gates.
A 36-year old Ridgewood man, who told police he had been drinking, fell in the Village Green, cut his lip and scratched his forehead, then made his way to the bus stop, where he was seen bleeding from his face. Observers called police, who called the man’s father to come get him. The man refused medical care.

Lost and found
A Crandon man accidently forgot to take his dog, which he left tied to a sprinkler pipe in front of CVS. The store clerk called police, who took the dog to the kennel. The man later retrieved the dog.
A Grand Bay Drive man, returning from travelling with his family, took a taxi from Miami International Airport to his home. That’s when he realized his black travel bag was missing. It contained seven pairs of ski shoes, valued at $3,000, his Mexican passport and his U.S. visa.
A black wallet containing three $1 bills, five 1-cent coins, two gold centimos, Peruvian coins and various papers was found in front of Winn-Dixie.
A Cranwood Drive woman found a bike on her front porch. She stored it for safekeeping thinking it belonged to one of her child’s friends, but when no claimed it, she turned it into the police.
A Knollwood Drive man lost his black Prada wallet containing a drivers’ license from Spain and residence card, a Malta residence card and various credit cards. The man had taken a taxi from Miami Beach to Key Biscayne and may have left his wallet behind.
A guest at the Ritz-Carlton lost his wallet containing his Texas driver’s license, $2,000 in cash and several credit cards.
A black plastic Tesla key was found near the 400 block of Crandon.
A $500 Louis Vuitton wallet containing one $20 bill, one quarter, one nickel and 13 pennies was found in the Crandon roadway.


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