The normally quiet Town of Surfside (north of Miami Beach) has experienced an increase in residential (dwelling) burglaries over the past few weeks.
Surfside Police have increased patrols with the intent of spotting burglaries in progress. They are also holding neighborhood meetings and posting fliers with information about recent crimes.
The crime of breaking into a home with the intent to commit a crime inside, such as a theft, is known as burglary of an unoccupied dwelling. This is a second-degree felony in the State of Florida, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Increases in residential burglaries in normally quiet areas usually mean that the same person or persons are committing the burglaries. Each home burglarized can be one count of burglary of an unoccupied dwelling. Fingerprints and/or DNA left at the scene can lead investigators to determine that burglaries are being committed by the same person or group of people.
Also, when one person is arrested, they may confess to other burglaries.
Police also look to local pawn shops to see if recently stolen items have been sold.
Burglary of a dwelling is a serious crime in Florida, carrying a minimum sentence of 21 months, with a maximum sentence of 15 years.
Eric Matheny is a burglary attorney serving Miami-Dade and Broward.