Life Sentences

Forget Hiaasen, Balmaseda, and Steinback -- the Herald's weird, wacky "Police Report" is the prose by the pros

Somebody stole three firearms from a home near the Broward border. The burglar pried open metal bars and smashed a basement window to get into the residence. He stole a twelve-gauge shotgun and a .22-caliber silver Smith & Wesson. The guns are valued at $1000.

Three men entered a South Dade warehouse through a fence when they were told by a security guard that they could not be there. The men ignored the guard and entered the warehouse. They looked around the building and took pictures. The men left in a gray Lincoln Town Car.

Best Quotes
A strong-arm robber yanked a woman's purse from her as she walked in the parking lot of a convenience store in North Miami Beach. After taking her purse, the robber kicked the woman and said, "Keep moving, shorty." He then jumped in a waiting vehicle.

Two thieves asked a man for a ride. They claimed their truck had broken down and they needed to get to a friend's house to borrow a car. The victim agreed to give them a ride. As they drove along NW 27th Avenue, one of the thieves said the car had a flat tire. The victim said the tires were fine, but decided to stop the car because the thief kept insisting it was flat. When the victim got out of the car and left the engine running, one of the thieves jumped into the driver's seat and said, as he drove away in the bronze 1989 Ford truck, "See you."

Two teens demanded a man's wallet as he walked through the parking lot at a North Dade Publix at midnight. When one of the teens showed the man a knife, he handed over his wallet, which contained $25. The other teen then said "Merry Christmas" before they both ran.

Best Quote (Raymond Carver Memorial Award)
A man wielding a knife swung at a West Miami resident in an attempt to stab him. The two men were arguing about a car the West Miami man sold to the other man days earlier. It had mechanical problems, and the buyer came to complain. After a few minutes of arguing, the buyer pulled out a six-inch knife and swung at the seller. The victim had to jump back to avoid being cut. Before he could swing again, the man with the knife heard police sirens, got into a red Ford Mustang, and sped off. As he did he yelled, "This is not over. This does not stay like this!"

Returning to the Scene of the Crime
"You again," said a woman after the same purse snatcher who assaulted her several weeks ago appeared in her driveway in the 100 block of NE 170th Street at 1:00 a.m. Thursday. "Yes, it's me again," replied the robber, just before he pushed the woman and stole her purse. The woman was not injured. The stolen purse is valued at $100.

A home in Opa-locka was burglarized twice in the same day. After the first burglary the resident left the house to buy wood to secure the side door. While she was gone, burglars broke in through the same door and stole a $250 microwave, an $1800 CB radio, a $100 weed trimmer, $1200 worth of jewelry, $200 in clothing, and $435 in ladies' watches.

Fifteen cars stored at the back of the Surfside post office received free paint jobs thanks to graffiti artists. Employees at a neighboring business saw four people quickly walking away from the area, then noticed the cars, which mail carriers drive, covered in wet paint. Damage was estimated at $15,000. While officers were investigating, the passenger of a white Honda yelled, "I saw the damage and I can't believe somebody would do this!" The passenger then asked if he could take pictures. A moment after the car drove away, a witness identified the passenger as one of the alleged vandals. Police, through the car's license plate, tracked the passenger to Miami. Roldando L. Andrerez, nineteen, was charged with criminal mischief.

Effective Self-Defense
A 71-year-old man drinking a beer on a street corner in Opa-locka scared away two men attempting to rob him by waving the beer bottle in their faces.

A robber pointed a gun at a man standing at the gas pumps at an Amoco station in Naranja. "Don't make me cap you. Give me your money," the robber said. Suddenly another robber sneaked up from behind and tried to remove his wallet, but was unable to because the man's belt was in the way. "Give me your keys," the robber said. "Step away and hand over your wallet." The man then pointed the gas pump on the robber, spraying gasoline on his face. The robber fled. When the man then turned to the other robber, the robber started running into the Modello HUD projects. The man suffered a bruise on his left arm from hitting the gas pumps.

Safety Tip: Don't Leave Everything in Your Car Overnight
Someone broke into a car parked at a home in Hialeah. The burglar smashed the driver's-side window and took a $249 fax machine, a $280 computer printer, a $200 cellular phone, and an $1100 camcorder.

Unsuccessful Negotiations
An $800 cellular phone was stolen out of a 1995 Mercedes-Benz parked in the roadway in South Miami. The car was unlocked and left unattended for a few minutes. The phone was taken from the front passenger seat. When the victim called the phone number, it was answered by a man who identified himself as Omar, who said he got the phone from a friend. The owner tried to arrange for him to give it back, but "Omar" refused.

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