Thieves targeting tri-athletes on Virginia Key

By Ben Candea, Senior Web Producer, bcandea@local10.com
Published On: Sep 27 2013 04:36:10 PM EDT
Updated On: Sep 28 2013 04:14:05 PM EDT

Tri-athletes using a beach on Virginia Key say thieves continue to break into their cars and steal their electronics and bikes worth thousands of dollars.

VIRGINIA KEY, Fla. -

Hobie Beach in Virginia Key is a perfect training ground for tri-athletes.

"You are able to swim, bike, and run and get everything done in one shot instead of having to travel to different places," said Janine Shaw. "They actually call this beach tri-beach."

But the tri-athletes using Hobie Beach said thieves are targeting them as they train.

"Around a dozen people have had stuff stolen out of their cars in the last few months," said Melissa Kaplan.

Local 10 viewers have been sending pictures showing evidence from break-ins.

"They hit again. They broke into our car in the morning... Someone needs to do Somthing about this," said Calicia Laundery.

Many of the tri-athletes leave their electronic key fobs hidden, but the thieves find them, then steal from their cars. Most begun carrying waterproof bags, but that hasn't stopped the break-ins.

"I had my car broken into and I did have my computer and a cell phone stolen and they actually broke the window to get into mine because I did have my key with me," said Tim Lewis.

Truck Last week, thieves pried the lock open on Alvaro Molina's truck while he was training.

"My iPhone is gone," he said.

The thieves haven't stopped at electronics: they've also stolen bikes.

"These bikes can range anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000 up to $10,000 to $15,000," said Lewis.

Tri-athletes said police departments have told them to contact others.

"They are telling us to go to the Key Biscayne police and the Key Biscayne police are telling us to go to the city (Miami) police, who are telling us to go to the [Miami-Dade] county," said Kaplan.

Miami-Dade County has jurisdiction over that stretch of beach.

"We just done feel safe anymore coming to train here and we want to feel that way. I am even afraid to take my bike here now," added Shaw.

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