Back Gate Open. Easy Access In, Out. Homeowners Livid.
The Oaks And Mizner Country Club Spent Big Bucks On Security, Leaving Neighboring Communities As Easy Targets…
BY: STAFF REPORT | BocaNewsNow.com
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2022 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — Just days after a car theft and several car burglaries in the high-end community of Lotus on Lyons Road just north of Clint Moore, Boca Bridges was hit with a car theft, construction equipment theft, and more.
They are the latest of the so-called “gated communities” built by GL Homes to be hit by thieves and criminals in the same area. A residential burglary in Seven Bridges in late December remains under investigation. As burglars did in another Seven Bridges home, the criminals broke hurricane glass and evaded an alarm system to gain entry.
Police do not believe the car thefts and residential burglaries are related, but all reveal stunning security deficiencies in the heavily marketed and advertised communities built by G.L. Homes. Lotus leaves its gates open during daylight hours, closing them only after 6 p.m. That means thieves can enter the community unfettered, and wait until nightfall to strike. The car theft and car burglaries over the weekend, however, took place in broad daylight.
In Boca Bridges, the community remains under construction with minimal if any security at its Lyons Road entrance, and a back entrance off of U.S. 441 that is often wide-open for construction workers. G.L. Homes, according to homeowners in Boca Bridges, said that closing the gate would cause too much traffic. Those living in the community say it is a security nightmare.
In neighboring Seven Bridges, a rear entry shared with Boca Bridges is manned only by a virtual security guard in another location or possibly another country. There is no human security presence preventing bad actors from entering. Seven Bridges sustained multiple car thefts, car burglaries, reports of vandalism, and residential burglaries over its roughly five years of existence.
Neither Lotus, Boca Bridges nor Seven Bridges have what is called a “T.E.A.” or “traffic enforcement agreement” with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. Under Florida statute, deputies can only issue tickets in a private community if they are “invited” into the community. While deputies patrol everywhere, law enforcement experts say they tend to spend more time where they are permitted to perform all of the functions of their job. G.L. Homes previously told homeowners that they did not like the optics of police patrolling a neighborhood where they are trying to sell million-dollar houses and the perception of a safe, luxury lifestyle.
Both Mizner Country Club and “The Oaks,” two communities just yards from Seven Bridges, Boca Bridges, and Lotus, also sustained burglaries and car thefts. But unlike their neighboring communities, Homeowners in Mizner and The Oaks agreed to special assessments to dramatically increase perimeter security, surveillance, and their private security forces. The result: Both The Oaks and Mizner Country Club have reported nearly no incidents of crime over the past 24 months.
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