Why wouldn't there be Fake Cops? There are also Fake Plastic Surgeons, phony government officials who have no visible credentials, and Pimps posing as Real Estate Agents. Indeed, there are lots of people down here playing
Let's Pretend. But can you prove it?
Because there are so many empty foreclosed homes around here, they look like tempting takeover targets for various kinds of criminals. The criminals must figure no one will notice.
Does the ample supply of already existing habitats discourage more construction? Not at all. They're still addicted. The construction jobs keep the illiterates happy, and the builders are hoping they can attract more affluent people to move down here, especially since they can now sell these units on the Internet to the entire world.
There are essentially two types of
foreclosed home rackets. This is the first type:
A man and a woman have been arrested in Florida for breaking into foreclosed homes, which they did not own, changing the locks, and renting them out. They are accused of stealing more than $2,700 from unknowing renters.
And then, there's the second type, which is more insidious. That's where the criminal moves his own gangsters or illegal activities into your complex. Criminals have learned to cunningly game the system down here. They know how to provide the kind of information they need in order to pass police background checks.
But Fake Neighbors are not the only worry you may have if you are a Crime Watcher. You also have to be on the alert for DOA Cars.
You emerge from your residential unit one day and notice a strange vehicle in the parking lot. You ask around the complex. Does this car belong to anyone living here? They say no. The automobile either has a license plate or it is completely stripped. If it has dark tinted windows, you can't look inside. You keep an eye on it for a couple of days, and, if it hasn't been moved by then, you may have to notify the police.
This is a South Florida Classic. It doesn't happen every day, but it isn't rare either. It happens once in a while.
Especially if the car has been completely stripped, it may have been used as the getaway car in a crime. And there could be a dead body inside. You don't want to leave it sitting in the parking lot very long because decomposition could create problems and the ME will have to identify the remains.
You can write your own script to create a TV crime episode for this situation. As you can see, you don't need to carry a gun for this type of scenario.
Should you sign up to be a Crime Watcher? Don't do so impulsively. Do a little research first. What kind of police department is this? Get some idea of the kind of outfit it is, its history and, possibly, its rap sheet. You could be exposing yourself to grave risk.
The police are in the position to set you up and use you as a patsy if they choose to do so. You could end up like a roadkill racoon. What could possibly go wrong? You could end up dead.
My purpose in issuing this kind of warning is not to discourage you. I am not opposed to the program which I think can be very helpful in some situations. My purpose is to encourage you to make a more informed decision.
Stay safe !