December 17, 2009

Marathon Deputies and Detectives were formally inspected recently by District Commander Captain Chad Scibilia and Station Commander Lt. Bruce Winegarden. The inspection was held at the Sheriff’s Aviation Hanger in Marathon. During the formal inspection, commanders checked dress uniforms, equipment, weapons and vehicles to make sure they were all in compliance with the general orders of the Sheriff’s Office.

Marathon troop inspection

Captain Scibilia and Lt. Winegarden check Deputy Sydney Whitehouse to make sure his uniform is in order. His vehicle hood is up so commanders can inspect it’s cleanliness as well. More pictures....

December 16, 2009

Sgt. (Lt.) Dennis Cain retires

Dennis Cain with Sheriff Peryam

Dennis Cain, a long time sergeant in the Marathon area, retired Friday with  20 years in with the Sheriff’s Office. Many officers and command staff turned out for the retirement ceremony, held at the Aviation Hanger building in Marathon. In the photo, Sgt. Cain pictured after the ceremony with Sheriff Bob Peryam. More photos of the retirement ceremony.

Lower Keys officers inspected

lower keys officers inspected

Deputies and detectives in the Lower Keys were formally inspected recently by Station Commander Lt. Gene Thompson. The inspection was held at the Freeman Substation on Cudjoe Key. During the formal inspection, Lt. Thompson checked dress uniforms, equipment, weapons and vehicles to make sure they were all in compliance with the general orders of the Sheriff’s Office. More photos of the inspection.

Sheriff’s Employees volunteer for MARC House

Marc House volunteersMarc House volunteers

Photo caption: Two shifts of Sheriff’s Office employees volunteered their time helping at the MARC House selling Christmas Trees recently. More photos...

Animal Farm Christmas Event a Success

boys with tortoisegirl with bunnyOver 700 people turned out to enjoy the Holiday season at the Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm on Sunday. Kids and adults alike enjoyed visiting the animals, and enjoyed activities such as face painting, ornament coloring and sitting on Santa and Mrs. Claus’ laps.

The Horace O’ Bryant band played beautiful holiday music and Girl Scout Troup #749 volunteered at the event. Members of Kids Come First  provided face painting, and the Masonic Lodge Child ID Program team brought their child identification trailer as well. 

The farm will be open to the public again on Sunday, January 10, 2010. More photos of the Event.

Commercial Motor Vehicle Enforcement

deputies learn CMV EnforcementThe Sheriff’s office Traffic Enforcement unit along with road patrol deputies attended a Department Of Transportation "Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Enforcement for Local Agencies" course.

The 3-day course is designed to increase local Law Enforcement’s awareness of commercial vehicle traffic safety and enforcement issues. It was held in Marathon and covered multiple topics including: officer safety, Commercial Motor Vehicle Traffic Enforcement, Mexican and Canadian Commercial Driver’s Licenses and Vehicle Safety and Security. Officers participated in both classroom activities and practical exercise.


Fraud: How not to be a victim

During the holidays, and in tough economic times like these, schemes which fraudulently and illegally steal people’s money seem particularly cruel. Here are a few tips in how to keep yourself from becoming a victim of such crimes.

Telephone and mail solicitation and fraud

Telemarketing fraud and fraudulent schemes perpetrated by mail cost American consumers billions of dollars a year and victims stand little chance of recovering their money. There is one overriding rule when dealing with someone who is soliciting your money: If it appears to be too good to be true, it most likely is too good to be true.

A few examples of common scams:

The Mystery Shopper scam where someone receives a check in the mail that appears to be genuine; he or she is told they will be evaluating the banking system (there are variations: they are told to go to WalMart to get a cashier’s check, etc.) and they are told to cash the check within two days and then wire the funds to a particular address. Great emphasis is placed on the rush to cash the check – this keeps the victim from discovering the check is fraudulent until after he or she has wired the funds. Once the check is discovered by the bank to be a fake, the victim is out thousands of dollars.

Variations on the classic “Nigerian Scam”: in general this scam involves a wealthy foreigner who needs help moving a large amount of money from his homeland and offers you a percentage of the money as a reward for your help. Of course, the victim is asked to put money up front to assist with the operation….then more money, and more money.

Some other advice on dealing with phone and mail solicitation:

Remember, when dealing with telemarketing solicitations, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
Financial solicitation requests over the phone and by mail are also something to watch out for. A large number of requests for financial contributions are legitimate. Without financial assistance, many organizations would be unable to help people who are in need. There are, however, groups who falsely represent themselves as charitable organizations. Anyone legitimately soliciting funds by phone should be able to answer six basic questions to show they are legitimate:

Con artists and scams

There are a great number of common scams used by criminals and con artists to take your money and give nothing in return. Many victims of such scams are elderly people, but remember, anyone can become a victim of such a crime.

One popular criminal operation is for a person to approach a homeowner offering to do home repairs. The criminal than either asks for payment in advance for the work, or does a small amount of work, then takes payment before the homeowner realizes all the work was not done, or was done poorly. When someone like this comes to your door, ask for identification, local references, and a license or other proof of his legitimacy before agreeing to the work.

If someone offers to sell you something at an unbelievably low price, don’t believe it! Many criminals sell stolen property in this manner, and you can get into trouble for buying such stolen property. Again, ask the person for identification, a license to sell the property, local references or papers which would prove the legitimacy of the property before considering a purchase.

Investment schemes are also popular. If a person offers to invest your money for you, don’t give him your money until you have investigated him and his investment ideas thoroughly.
If you think someone is trying to con you, call the Sheriff’s Office immediately and a deputy will respond and investigate.

December 4, 2009

Sheriff's Animal Farm Christmas Party - December 13th

Make sure to mark your calendar - the Sheriff's Office Animal Farm will be hosting the annual Christmas on the Farm event on Sunday, December 13th, from 1pm to 3pm.  There will be ornaments for the children to color, face painting, holiday music, the Masonic Lodge Child ID trailer, and Santa will stop by for photos and to hand out gifts to all the good little girls and boys. 

Everyone is invited to attend this wonderful FREE family event. Donations are, of course, greatly appreciated because they help keep the animal’s habitats in good repair and help pay for food and upkeep at the farm. 

The farm has about 250 animals of all kinds and is truly a wonderful place for children and adults alike. The farm is open second and fourth Sundays of every month. Groups may schedule special trips by contacting Farmer Jeanne Selander at 305-293-7300. The farm is located underneath the Monroe County Detention Center, off of College Road on Stock Island.

December 3, 2009

Toyz for Keyz Kidz still accepting donations of toys

Sheriff’s Office employees are continuing  their yearly effort to collect toys for needy kids in the Keys this Christmas season.

They have named their effort “Toyz for Keyz Kidz”, (formerly Toys for Tots). The group works in partnership with the Salvation Army to distribute toys and food during the holidays.

Right now, they are collecting unwrapped new toys and monetary donations. The donations and toys can be dropped off at Sheriff’s Substations on Cudjoe Key, in Marathon, Islamorada and Plantation Key as well as at the Sheriff’s Headquarters building on Stock Island. All proceeds will benefit needy Monroe County kids age 0 – 17 this Christmas. Last Christmas season, hundreds of families benefited this toy drive.

Other toy drop off locations include:

Kiffney's Gun Shop in Key Largo
Moore Books in Key Largo
Tropical Styles Hair Salon in Key Largo
Cover to Cover Books in Islamorada
Keys Federal Credit Union in Marathon
Chappy's Restaurant in Marathon
Cracked Conch Restaurant in Marathon
The Fruit Stand in Marathon
Marathon Fire Department
The Design Source in Marathon
TIB Bank in Marathon
Gioia's Hair Salon in Marathon

For more information, contact Peggy Bryan in the upper Keys at 853-3211; Linda Mixon in the middle Keys at 797-0089; and Tiffany O’Connell in the lower Keys at 292-7050.