Fast response helps police nab trio of home invaders

Miami-Dade Police Hammocks District CAC honors for January are presented by (l-r) Maj. Hernan M. Organvidez to Sgt. Juan Rodriguez; Officers Al Gamez, Ariel Visciglia, Joar Centreras, with CAC chair James Blough.

A four-man Miami-Dade Police Hammocks District team corralled three suspects described as “violent offenders” to win honors as Officers of the Month during the Jan. 25 meeting of the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC).

Sgt. Juan Rodriguez and Officers Al Gamez, Ariel Visciglia and Joar Cenreras comprised a TPU (Team Police Unit) dispatched to an “in progress” home invasion robbery at 9:43 a.m. on Jan. 25 at 19520 SW 116 Ave.

The incident began when the trio used a stepladder to gain access to the home by smashing a window and brazenly tie up an awakened occupant with electrical extension cords.

Holding the victim at gunpoint, the three then took turns ransacking the home, removing a wall television monitor and loading stolen items in the victim’s backpack before fleeing the residence.

A neighbor who spotted two of the assailants run into the home next door was credited with calling 9-1-1, alerting a dispatcher who sent Sgt. Rodriguez and the three officers to the break-in scene.

Told the trio of suspects was seen “running north” on SW 116th Avenue from the victim’s home, the four officers used descriptions of the pair and knowledge of the area to begin their search at a nearby abandoned residence.

“At that location, they discovered the three subjects, a handgun and a backpack matching the description,” according to the commendation report. All three subjects were taken into custody without incident, and later identified by the victim and a second witness as the break-in assailants.

“These are the times when officers face unknown consequences, and it speaks highly of both their training and quick thinking to make an arrest in such dangerous circumstances,” said Maj. Hernan M. Organvidez who, with CAC chair James Blough, presented the citations to each of the officers.

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