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Surveillance cameras are everywhere in Miami and these, and many other electronic devices, are evidence-capturing machines. A recently released surveillance video showed a man taking valuables from a woman’s car at a gas station when she entered the station, leaving her car unlocked and easy snatched property in her car.
Miami-Dade Police Chief Nelson Andreu noted that the video is just one example of a crime that occurs a dozen times or more each day in the region. Although captured on video, that doesn’t mean that the police have the individual on their radar screen or that they can identify him. Video identification can be tricky, depending upon the quality of the tape, the angle at which the film is shot, and the amount of light under which it’s recorded.
The snatching of valuables from vehicles that are left idle for a few moments seems to be a mounting problem in the region. Crime in Miami is high, and this type of crime happens quickly, as thieves camp out waiting for a potential victim to lapse and make a mistake. The mistake is a common one, as they simply leave their doors unlocked.
Crime victims who suffer loss due to having left their motor vehicle open and unattended are angry, frustrated, and left feeling vulnerable. They may be residents of the same neighborhood inhabited by those who perpetuated the crime. Rarely do the crime victims have any idea about who the perpetrator may be or what they look like.
Video Surveillance and Charges
Video surveillance may lead to an arrest in such cases. However, for those charged, who are considered to be innocent until proven guilty, video evidence alone may not be enough to convict. As noted, images can be compromised in many ways, and the prosecution, which bears the burden of proof, may have little else.
When charged with such a crime in Miami, defendants are under no obligation to answer any questions in connection with the charges being brought against them. And although this may frustrate those who want to see justice served and the guilty parties punished, the fact is justice is never served if the person charged has had their rights violated.
Don’t Be a Victim
With so many incidents that involve drivers leaving themselves open to the machinations of petty thieves, it’s important to note that a few sensible precautionary actions by drivers can go a long way to protecting them and their property.
When stopped at a gas station if you are going to leave your vehicle unattended, always securely lock it, park it as near to the entrance to the station as possible, and take your purse, wallet, and/or phone with you. Don’t make it easy for predatory criminals to swoop in, open your vehicle door, remove items, and be off. A few seconds of basic preventive measures can save you money, frustration, and the time that it takes to report the crime and file charges.