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Gables Residents Fed Up With Burglaries, Want Police Chief Gone

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Fed up with the crime in his community, a Coral Gables resident is trying to rally support among his neighbors to pressure city officials to oust the Chief of Police.

Last week, burglars broke Freddy Balsera's home and stole more than $60,000 in personal items. Last month, one of his neighbors was watering her lawn when a man force her inside and stole more than $147,000 in jewelery.

In a letter to his neighbors, Balsera said according to FDLE statistics there were 391 burglaries in the Gables last year which works out to about a burglary a day, or 32 per month. He points out that in the Gables the "crime rate per 100,000 residents was 4,735. That is higher than Miami-Dade (4,051), Hialeah (3,187) and Hialeah Gardens (3,823). The city of Doral, which has a similar population to us, had 196 burglaries last year - half the amount of Coral Gables."

CBS4 reached out to Coral Gables police for a comment but they said they had no information.

"It is evident that criminals feel very comfortable cruising through our streets," states Balsera in the letter.

While police have passed out flyers warning residents to lock their doors and be alert some, like Balsera, say that is not enough.

"There is definitely a crime epidemic in Coral Gables," said Balsera. "There's 32 houses being broken into per month and this has to stop."

Balasera says he doesn't blame the men and women of the city's police department.

"The responsibility for our lack of safety lies squarely on the shoulders of our city leaders beginning with Mayor Jim Cason and Police Chief Dennis Weiner," writes Balsera in the letter.

He claims Weiner doesn't have a clear plan as to how to combat the problem and Cason seems to be out of touch with what's going on when he posts on Twitter that the crime is going down in the city.

Balsera's letter urges his frustrated neighbors to show up at City Hall on Thursday morning in a show of support for Commissioners Vince Lago and Frank Quesada who will demand that Weiner submit his resignation

"It is critically important that you attend this meeting to support them and make your voice heard," Balsera wrote. "Criminals cannot continue to terrorize us with impunity. I hope to see you on Thursday so that we can restore safety and security to Coral Gables."

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