South Miami resident catches driver dumping debris in neighborhood

South Floridians are all desperate for debris left behind by Hurricane Irma to finally get picked up and hauled away from their lawns, but police say there is a group that is cashing in by picking up, but not dropping off.  

Like most of his neighbors, South Miami resident Gary Hebert is still dealing with a huge mess, so when he saw a cleanup truck pull up to his home Monday morning, he couldn’t help but smile.

“This big truck that they use to haul debris is parked by the pile and they’re picking up debris. I’m like ‘Wow. How did they pick this area?'” Hebert said. 

But his happiness shortly turned to anger after he realized that the man driving the truck wasn’t there to help.

“This is what he left us. He left all these big pieces. All this he dumped,” Hebert told Local 10 News reporter Michael Seiden. 

It turned out that the driver was only there to dump debris, and wasn’t picking anything up.

“Another neighbor saw the same thing and we realized what had just happened. They just scammed the system,” South Miami Mayor Phillip Stoddard said. 

Stoddard lives a couple doors down from Hebert and was shocked by what happened. He believes this may be going on all over South Florida. 

“They picked it up somewhere else, probably got it certified so they get credit for the load, and instead of taking it all the way up to the disposal point, they just quickly dropped it off here in this neighborhood, so they can get back to work quicker and get another load,” Stoddard said. 

The issue is a huge problem for a city that is already dealing with so much debris. 

Anyone with information about who is dumping debris into people’s neighborhoods is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. 

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Police officer accused of domestic violence is relieved of duty

A Coral Gables police officer was relieved of duty on Friday during an ongoing investigation. Officer Manuel Rivero was with the Coral Gables Police Department for about 17 years.  Chief of Police Edward J. Hudak Jr. took his marked car …

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Underground explosion in South Miami causes power outages

An underground explosion near The Shops of Sunset Place mall in South Miami caused power outages, street light malfunctions and street closures on Friday evening.

Police officers temporarily closed access to Southwest 57th Avenue (Red Road) between South Dixie Highway and Sunset Drive, where there was an open manhole.

Florida Power & Light reported about 50 customers were without power and street lights were not working in the area. 

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue was investigating the cause of the underground explosion. 

Local 10 News’ Robert Alpizar and Marcine Joseph contributed to this report. 

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3 in custody after off-duty police captain reports ‘car-hopping’ crime

An off-duty South Miami police captain spotted a group of men trying to break into vehicles early Wednesday morning across the street from his home. 

The captain said he was sitting on his patio when he saw four men pull up to an apartment building near Southwest 58th Avenue and Southwest 74th Terrace.

He said the group walked through the parking lot and checked for unlocked cars to target, a crime that investigators called “car hopping.”

The captain called to report the crime.

Police found three of the men and took them into custody.

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University of Miami student, 21, found dead in apartment, police say

Miami-Dade police are investigating the death of a 21-year-old University of Miami student found dead in his apartment Wednesday night.

Nicolas De Lavalette’s body was discovered in a bathroom at about 3:30 p.m. in the 6600 block of Southwest 57th Avenue.

He was pronounced dead in the apartment.

De Lavalette’s body is being examined by the Miami-Dade County medical examiner’s office.

An initial investigation revealed that were was no trauma involved in the student’s death and no foul play was suspected.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. 

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South Miami street renamed after 96-year-old World War II veteran

A street in South Miami was renamed Friday in honor of a World War II veteran who has lived in the neighborhood for nearly 70 years.

Southwest 63rd Court is now Mitchel Chockla Court.

Relatives and friends came together Friday for the unveiling of the street sign.

Chockla has lived in the same house on the street for 67 years, and the honor comes because of his great service to the U.S.

“Amazing, amazing. I just can’t get over how it happened, and I’m grateful to the city of South Miami,” Chockla said. “It’s embarrassing, in a way. I didn’t expect all this, but it all went together well thanks to my daughter.”

“My heart swells with pride for my father,” Chockla’s daughter told Local 10 News.

Loved ones who gathered to celebrate the tribute to the 96-year-old veteran found comfort in knowing that he is still here to witness the street being named after him.

“He’s my hero,” Chockla’s daughter said.



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