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Criminal Investigations
 
GENERAL INVESTIGATIONS UNIT
Criminal Investigations Section, General Investigations Unit
Miami Police Department
400 NW 2 Ave, Miami, Fl 33128
Office Number: (305) 603-6030 - Burglary, Auto Burglary and Environmental Crimes Details
Office Number: (305) 603-6280 - Economic Crimes Detail/Squatter
Office Number: (305) 603-6055 - Auto Theft, Pawn Shop

The General Investigations Unit is an element within the Criminal Investigations Section and includes the Burglary, Auto Burglary, Economic Crimes, Squatter, Auto Theft, Pawn Shop and Environmental Crimes Details. The Unit’s investigators are responsible for conducting the detailed investigations into all property crimes that occur within the City of Miami providing there are solvability factors that are determined by the facts of the case. The investigators that are assigned to the crime, will review the patrol officer’s report and conduct in-depth interviews with the victims and any potential witnesses to include exhausting all investigatory leads.

General Investigation Unit Detectives are highly trained specialists, with a great deal of law enforcement experience in their backgrounds. In addition to the knowledge and expertise developed over years of professional police work, they receive formal training in interview and interrogation techniques, criminal investigation procedures, legal procedures, crime scene investigation, and criminal law.

The Miami Police Department understands the crimes occurring within our community and understand how frustrating and personal this crime may be to our victims. The Criminal Investigations Section is committed to ensuring all solvability factors are thoroughly investigated in our efforts to identify and apprehend the person(s) responsible for this crime.

BURGLARY / AUTO BURGLARY DETAILS

Burglary State Statute, 810.02: “Entering a dwelling, a structure, or a conveyance with the intent to commit an offense therein, unless the premises are at the time open to the public or the defendant is licensed or invited to enter”. Upon discovering a burglary to your home or business, the Miami Police Department Criminal Investigation Division recommends the following:

• Do not enter! You’re Safety is our Priority!

• Call 911 and find a safe location until the arrival of a representative of the Miami Police Department.

If you enter your home or business prior to the arrival of law enforcement, the Miami Police Departmental Criminal Investigations Division recommends the following:

• Do not touch anything that was disturbed, broken, or relocated and allow Crime Scene to process and possibly preserve the crime scene.

• Providing you are safe and there is no need to call 911, call the non-emergency line at (305) 579-6111.

The Criminal Investigations Division also recommends the following links for your protection:

• Report It, Citizens Property Inventory System Powered by Leads on Line - You can create an account where you will be allowed to store make, model and serial numbers. You will also be allowed to upload pictures of distinguished items, i.e., jewelry, antiques, etc. This can be helpful for recovery of your property.

National Bike Registry

Report It - Citizen Property Inventory System

What are the criminals looking for?

Most of these criminals are looking for anything of value that can be sold or traded. The most common items found in vehicles are airbags, GPS, iPads, cellular phones, computers, cash, credit cards, purses/wallets, cameras, luggage, money and firearms. Most homes are targeted for jewelry, electronics, cash, and prescription drugs.

ECONOMIC CRIMES

The Economic Crimes Detail investigates incidents of fraud and/or forgery involving credit cards, checks, bank accounts, internet financial crimes, identity theft, skimmers, scams/flim flams, and embezzlement.

The Detail does not investigate the following:

• Monitor your financial accounts for unusual activity.
• Notify the proper agencies if you have a change of address.
• Beware of mail or telephone solicitations disguised as promotions or instant prizes.
• Fake email addresses start with a known company name and finishes with an @ (free email service provider).com.
• Order your credit report from the three credit bureaus once a year to check for fraudulent activity or other discrepancies.
• Never leave receipts at bank machines, store counters, trash receptacles, gas pumps, etc.
• Memorize your social security number and passwords.
• Do not record passwords on anything in your wallet.
• Beware of skimmers placed at gas pumps and ATM machines.

PAWN SHOP

The Pawn Shop Detail is tasked with inspecting and monitoring the pawn shops and second-hand dealers within the jurisdiction of the City of Miami. There are approximately 200 pawn shops / second hand dealers within the City of Miami jurisdiction.

If you observe an item belonging to you in a pawn shop or second-hand dealer establishment, you are asked to notify the staff at the pawn shop and call the police. The officer can place a verbal hold on the item and contact a Pawn Shop Detective who will complete the necessary paperwork for an investigative hold to allow further investigation.

AUTO THEFT

Auto Theft criminals vary in what they are looking for. As in most crimes, opportunity is the easiest and most preferred method for stealing cars. Vehicles left with the engine running and/or keys left inside are the easiest target. Cars stolen by youth are usually used for joyriding. Stolen cars are also used to commit secondary crimes such as, theft, robbery, and drive-by shootings.

Re-vining is another tactic used by auto theft offenders. This is where the Vehicle Identification Number (V.I.N.) plates are removed and replaced with another number.

Citizens should avoid leaving keys inside their vehicle, leaving the vehicle idling with the engine on, and loaning the vehicle to individuals they do not know/trust. Steering column locks and alarms are suggested to deter such crimes. If your keys are lost or stolen, we suggest that you have the vehicle re-keyed to avoid the thief from returning and taking your vehicle.

SQUATTER

A Squatter is someone who trespasses and remains on property that she doesn't legally own. In Florida, he/she has no legal right to make use of or reside on land without the rightful owner’s consent. In fact, a squatter is illegally trespassing and can face criminal charges and be forced to leave the property if the owner is aware of the trespass and reports it to local law enforcement. In some cases, however, Florida’s adverse possession law can transform a trespassing squatter into a property owner.

Homeowners and/or authorized agents can request the police and file a report for squatters who illegally occupy their legally owned property. The report is forwarded to the Squatter Detective who works with the City Attorney’s Office to verify property ownership. Once verified, the Squatter Detective notifies the homeowner/authorized agent of the next steps in the squatter removal process.

ENVIRONMENTAL CRIMES

The Environmental Crimes Detail investigate crimes against the environment and criminal violations reference illegal dumping of trash, construction equipment, boats, hazardous materials, etc. The Detail members enforce the Florida Litter Law, illegal handling & disposal of hazardous materials and federal environmental acts, laws and regulations. They work with Code Enforcement, Solid Waste, NET Administrators, and the Environmental Protection Agency.