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VMs Hear About Westchase Crime and Road Repaving

The Jan. 9 Westchase Voting Members (VMs) meeting began with Hillsborough County Master Deputy Jeff Carson from District III providing a crime tips for Westchase.

Carson explained that residents need to check that all doors and windows are locked and advised. He said that it is a great idea to record serial numbers for items that might be stolen because after the theft, the sheriff’s office can check serial numbers in the pawnshop database. Residents should also take pictures of items like electronics and jewelry.

Carson advised residents, “Be the eyes and ears in your own neighborhood.”

Carson said that 70 percent of auto burglaries are to unlocked cars. He said that juveniles periodically roam neighborhoods checking for an unlocked car. Residents should also remove valuables from their cars and their garage door openers, which can be used to burglarize your home.

Carson concluded by detailing the sheriff department’s crime search map and its Tip 411 app for cell phones and tablets, offering a free, anonymous way to contact the sheriff’s office. To find it, simply search HCSOSHERIFF in the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Westchase Community Association (WCA) Vice President Rick Goldstein, who also serves as Woodbridge VM, chaired the meeting due to the WCA president’s illness encouraged residents to use the sheriff’s office’s vacation watch service and touted doorbell video cameras while Carson touted inexpensive game cameras as effective ways of catching criminals on video.

VM Eric Holt (Radcliffe) asked if there was a way to see crime resolutions. Carson responded that each victim or complainant is given a case number and they can call at any point in time to get an update and know whether the case is active or closed.

Goldstein then introduced Stephanie Agliano of Hillsborough County Neighborhood Relations. She introduced David Vogel, project manager for the Westchase resurfacing projects. He explained that the $1.2 million Westchase repaving project should begin at the end of January. That project and schedule will be detailed in February’s WOW.

Subsequently, VMs quickly approved the initial guideline amendment for Woodbay, allowing rain chains in lieu of standard downspouts.

VM Mary Griffin then asked VMs to get the word out about a community meeting on Jan. 18 from 6-8 p.m. about the Guardian Ad Litem program. She described it as an orientation session. She added she had been a volunteer in the past and would be starting again. She explained that there is a huge shortage of volunteers right now for the program, which has almost 8,000 children in some form of care in Hillsborough County and only 800 volunteers to help them navigate their dealings with the court system.

Goldstein announced that the Westchase Open Tennis Tournament was a huge success, with it raising far more than its $5,000 goal. Goldstein noted, “We have a great senior division with some players in their mid-80s.”

Last, VM Gerald Pappa (The Greens) stated that turn lane issues on Linebaugh have caused people to enter the Greens gate as visitors simply to make a U-turn to cross the street and enter The Fords. “We’ve almost had people run over and they are backing up the gate house. This is a big problem,” he said. Pappa asked VMs to send an email to their residents requesting they not do this. Pappa also said that CDD Field Supervisor Doug Mays told him that Christmas trees were showing up in the canals and in the woods. Pappa said, “You can’t dispose of your tree by throwing them in the canal.”

VMs adjourned at 7:53 p.m.

By Brenda Bennett

Posted Jan. 12, 2018

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