Within the last week, management at several apartment complexes around Gainesville had seen increases in renters not paying their rent… Or so they thought.
It turned out the checks turned into the drop box or mail slots were stolen.
“There’s no evidence of any kind of forced entry,” said Gainesville Police Department Spokesman Ben Tobias. “Someone’s going in there and using the old-fashioned gum on a stick kind of thing and pulling checks and money orders out of there and it’s completely random. It’s happening all over the city.”
The Gardens, and at least five other Gainesville complexes, have been targeted. Thousands of dollars have been stolen between them.
GPD is not ruling out an inside job, Tobias said, because the investigation needs to encompass every angle.
The Gainesville Police Department and the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office are concerned about identities being stolen.
The best way to make sure your identity hasn’t been stolen is to check with your banks, officials said.
“The best and easiest way is to go over those statements in a timely fashion when they come in and dispute any claims. And then follow up with the three credit reporting bureaus to make sure that other people have not been successful and opened up other accounts in your name,” ACSO Spokesman Art Forgey said.
GPD and ACSO believe all the instances are related because they’re so similar.
“It does concern me because I don’t want to have my rent checks stolen, of course. I don’t want to put all the money together and just have someone else take it,” said Cabana Beach resident David Sanvidge.
Another Cabana Beach tenant, Dominique Noris said, “I was thinking about actually just paying online now so that way, you know, no theft or anything will happen like that.”
Collier Company, which owns more than one of the involved locations, is declining comment.