Coconut Grove Bank and Aventura Police Department join forces to educate AMC members on crime prevention

By Bari Auerbach….

Jesus Soto, Personal Banking Officer, Abraham Abecassis, Senior Teller, Maira Diaz-Giusti, SVP/Branch Manager, Coconut Grove Bank; Aventura Police Dept. Crime Prevention Coordinator Ernest Long; Ana Prado, Personal Banking Officer, Coconut Grove Bank; Peter L. Fishel, CPA; Lisa Perl, Branch Operations Manager, Coconut Grove Bank; North Miami Beach Councilwoman Phyllis Smith

Coconut Grove Bank and the Aventura Police Department hosted an informative meeting on the topic of crime prevention for the members of the Aventura Marketing Council. Ernest Long, Aventura Police Crime Prevention Coordinator spoke about: stopping identity theft, preventing crimes during the holiday season, the Aventura Police Department’s “Lock It or Lose It” program and how to know if the new $100 bill is real.

Peter L. Fishel, CPA and the AMC’s Business Development Chair welcomed business and community leaders to Coconut Grove Bank’s Aventura branch, a full-service community bank offering personal banking, business banking, lending and trust and wealth management services.

Long explained the Aventura Police Department’s “Lock It or Lose It” public education and crime prevention program. “Criminals are always watching and depend on you being careless,” he said. “Lock your car, take your keys, remove any large purchases and remember to always be aware of your surroundings.”

The Aventura Police Department has assigned a detective to address Internet and identity theft fraud. Long advises to, “Frequently check bank and credit card statements for unauthorized activity.”

He also pointed out that dumpsters and mailboxes are often sources targeted for input as are credit reports and fraudulent personal information update requests sent by entities masquerading as Internet service providers, banks and other financial services such as PayPal.

“A major thing you can do to prevent identity theft is to put fraud alert warnings on your files so anytime someone tries to get credit in your name, you’ll get a call,” Long said.

Long advises business owners to have their employees ask for identification when making credit card sales and to check for counterfeit bills when accepting cash including the new $100 bill. Enhancements to the redesigned $100 bill include two new security features: The “3D Security Ribbon” and “The Bell in the Inkwell.” For more information, visit

“Criminals are getting ready and you need to get ready too,” Long said. “The Aventura Police Department offers free retail loss prevention training.

“This year, we expect less crime during the holidays because we’re arresting more criminals and they’re spreading the word that if you commit a crime in Aventura, you’re going to get caught,” Long said. “But the bottom line is ‘prevention.’”

For more information about Coconut Grove Bank’s Aventura branch contact 305-756-4500 or visit the branch at 20801 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 103; to contact the Aventura Police Department, contact: 305-466-8999; to learn more about the Aventura Marketing Council’s Business Development Committee, contact: 305- 932-5334.

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