Riverview CRD Urges Residents To Be Aware Of Scams, Prepare For Disasters

By Tamas Mondovics

The 2012 Republican National Convention may be over, but with the students returning to school, it is by no means time for Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputies to relax.

“We were pretty busy and out of our regular area and routine to ensure that the convention was without any major problems,” said Riverview Community Resource Deputy (CRD) Cliff Fletcher. “Our full attention and focus is now back on local concerns.”

Fletcher a Riverview native, and 14-year veteran with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office  accepted the responsibility as the District IV Riverview Substation CRD, in 2006 and has been serving area residents at the station with the assistance of community service officer (CSO) Barbara Jones.

“One of our most current concerns is back-to-school traffic and our students’ safety,” Fletcher said. “With school starting, motorists must watch out for children on the roads walking or riding their bikes and obey the law.”

Also in agreement with his Bloomingdale counterpart Master Deputy Curtis Warren, who serves as the Bloomingdale substation CRD, Fletcher commented on local trends affecting most communities in District IV.

“Property crime, vandalism, auto theft and vehicle burglaries or so-called car-hopping—when thieves, in an organized fashion, pull on the car’s door handles and take all valuables from the vehicles that were not locked—is an ongoing problem in the Riverview and surrounding communities,” Fletcher added.

Below are a few additional topics both Warren and Fletcher agreed on mentioning.

Residential Burglary

Home security continues to be a major concern, especially with the summer months and residents leaving the area on vacations, adding that to properly prepare a home before leaving town is extremely critical.

“Don’t let the bad guys know you’re gone,” Warren said. “Make arrangements with a neighbor or friend to keep an eye on your home and even mow the yard if necessary, discontinue newspapers and arrange for your mail to be put on hold, and set light timers to deter burglars.”

Utility Scams

Switching to the topic of utility scams, the council emphasized that in the past several weeks, local utility companies have received calls claiming that the customer’s account will be disconnected shortly because of an unsigned check or unpaid balance and request a credit card number to avoid the disconnection.

“At least two customers have fallen for this scam and gave their credit card numbers which were then used illegally,” Warren said.

Anyone who receives a call of this type should contact Progress Energy at 1-800-700-8744 or Tampa Electric at 1-888-223-0800.

Prepare For Disasters

The staff at the Bloomingdale substation continues to urge residents to take disaster preparedness seriously.

With several storms such as Tropical Storm Isaac already on the list for the season, emergency officials who track hurricanes ask that everyone remember, “It only takes one.”

Important emergency preparation information can be found at www.hillsboroughcounty.org in the Emergency Management site.

Hurricane Guides can be found at www.tprc.org/tampabaydisaster/hurricane_guides2012.shtml.

The Riverview Sheriff’s station is located at 7416 Commerce St. in Riverview and can be contacted by calling 672-7822.