By Jill Fox
A home in a gated community in Parkland was recently burglarized, leaving residents wondering how their community’s security could be compromised.
On January 4, while the residents were away on vacation, their home in the MiraLago community was burglarized. When they returned, they found their house in disarray, including multiple broken glass windows.
According to the couple, the burglars entered the gated community by taking advantage of the unguarded University Drive entrance gate and burglarized their home for more than two hours. However, police have not confirmed the exact vehicle that was used.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office said the requested record was a part of an active criminal investigation, and they were unable to release detailed information at this time.
In a letter to MiraLago residents, MiraLago Property Manager, Melissa Auricchio said the association would be placing a temporary Marksman uniformed guard at the University gatehouse from the hours of 6:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. They would also include a survey to get an idea of how the community felt about placing a permanent guard at the University Drive entrance, which was not intended initially — but was built with those capabilities.
Auricchio also advised that BSO Captain Chris Mulligan would be making a presentation at the next board of director’s meeting about important updates within MiraLago and the surrounding areas of Parkland.
At a meeting on January 22, Captain Mulligan showed maps of three home burglaries, as well as 13 car break-ins in MiraLago over the past three years. He said, most likely, the vehicles were unlocked in all of the car break-ins, and both statistics were similar in neighboring Parkland communities. He reiterated to keep vehicles locked and report anything suspicious to the police.
The Marksman Security management team was also in attendance to discuss their performance and services being provided to the MiraLago community. They said they had been working on the guardhouse at the University Drive entrance, cut down the landscaping for increased visibility, and added cameras. They also stressed the importance of only letting friends and family, not vendors, or deliveries, in the rear entrance.
Anxious meeting attendees spoke about everything from chasing down unfamiliar cars to snapping pictures of license plates. One resident even mentioned calling the police on a suspicious vehicle, which brought up separate concerns about the police department dispatch.
Captain Mulligan explained that a new Parkland cellular tower is expected to be completed by the middle of 2020, which will improve radio communications by eliminating dead zones and increase the volume of radio traffic.
The board voted to post a 12-hour guard at the University Drive entrance for an additional $13 per month to residents’ homeowner’s association fees.
One resident said, “That gate has always been an issue. Unfortunately, it took a house getting robbed for this change to happen.”
This article has been edited.
- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked on the public relations side as well as the television side of marketing for NBC Universal. A true Floridian, Fox grew up in Ormond Beach and now resides in Parkland with her husband, Brian and their two children, Madden, 10 and Randi, 7.