Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help tracking down thieves who have stolen more than $100,000 in bee hive boxes over the last four months in Lee County.
The first incident was reported in May, when two pallets, containing 12 hives, valued at $4,500, were taken from a remote property in Lehigh Acres. In late June, deputies received another report of 100 wooden bee boxes stolen from a Cape Coral property. The victim said the fence protecting the area had been cut. Then, on July 7, Wonderful Bees, a national company with hives in both Lee and Charlotte Counties, reported that all 192 of their boxes, valued at over $41,000, were taken from a location in Alva. The most recent theft occurred last week, when another Wonderful Bees location was targeted in south Lee County. During this theft, 180 double boxes of beehives were stolen, worth $42,000.
In order to remove the beehive pallets, the suspects would have required heavy machinery to remove the boxes. Detectives believe the same suspects are responsible for all four incidents. Wonderful Bees, the victim in two of the four thefts, is now offering a reward of $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the persons responsible for the thefts. Crime Stoppers is also offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest.
Anyone with information on the identities and whereabouts of the suspects responsible is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477). All callers will remain anonymous and will be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 from Crime Stoppers and up to $10,000 from Wonderful Bees. Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or by texting a tip to CRIMES (274637) Keyword: REWARD.
For additional information, contact Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator, at email@example.com.