The Miami Beach Police Department is reporting that car burglaries in the residential neighborhoods of the city are on the rise.
Miami Beach Police are claiming that victims are not doing enough to protect their belongings. For instance, officers are reporting that many of the victimized cars were broken into without the use of force. That means that an unlocked door or a lowered window allowed the perpetrators access. Car burglars typically take about thirty seconds to clean out a car, taking loose change, electronics, stereos, GPS devices, and anything else that can be taken easily that may have value.
In other cases, car burglars may break windows to get inside of the cars.
The Miami Beach Police Department has vowed to step up enforcement by increasing patrols in neighborhoods where car burglaries have been reported.
Breaking into a car in the State of Florida is known as burglary of an unoccupied conveyance. This crime is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in state prison.
Typically, burglary of an unoccupied conveyance is not charged by itself. If property is taken from the car, the crime of petit theft or grand theft, depending on the value of the property, can be charged in addition to burglary. If the car is damaged in any way - including the breaking of the window - criminal mischief may be charged.
Penalties can range from Pretrial Intervention all the way up to state prison time.
Eric Matheny is a Miami burglary lawyer and Broward burglary lawyer.