My name is Thomas Mitchell and I am a captain with the Delray Beach Police Department, assigned as the Division Commander for Community Patrol. Community Patrol encompasses the Road Patrol officers, the Clean & Safe Unit, which is a team assigned to the Entertainment District, and the Problem Oriented Policing (P.O.P.) Unit, which is a specialized team that focuses on addressing crime in a specific neighborhood.
This month, I would like to address the thefts of cellphones and purses from café tables along East Atlantic Avenue.
South Florida is a beautiful area to live, work and play. The sun shines just about every day and the weather is warm, the landscape lush and green and the beaches mesmerizing. Unfortunately, when we live in paradise, we become complacent. We forget about problems and let our guards down, which creates an environment that is inviting to criminals, especially the opportunistic ones.
Do not leave your cellphone, wallet or tablet on the table while dining, sipping coffee or just enjoying time with friends. There were 24 thefts of cell phones or wallets along East Atlantic Avenue from Swinton Avenue to Federal Highway in the past six months.
Many times the criminal element blends in with the crowd and takes advantage of these types of opportunities, swiping your property right from the table before you even know it and then they quickly disappear back into the crowd. One quick turn of a corner and they are gone. Please put your property in your pockets or place them on your lap or under the table. Ladies, this also includes your purses and bags. I often observe these items draped across the back of your chair, creating another perfect opportunity for the criminal. Delray Beach is a beautiful location and to keep your visit on the happier side, secure your property when out and about, enjoying your time with friends and family.
If you observe any suspicious activity, call the police. Of course, if it is an emergency, dial 9-1-1, but if it does not rise to that level of urgency, you may dial the non-emergency number, 561-243-7800 or Crime Stoppers at 561-458-TIPS (8477).
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