The Lee County Sheriff’s Office reports that the new year is starting off with a significant spike in car burglaries and thefts, with more than a dozen reported from Fort Myers Beach to North Fort Myers within the last two weeks alone. The common denominator in almost every instance is unlocked doors.
On Tuesday night alone, four cars were stolen on Fort Myers Beach, and others broken into. Unfortunately, car owners made it easy for the thieves by leaving their vehicles unlocked, and some even left the keys in the ignition.
“Car thefts and burglaries are some of the easiest crimes to prevent, and it only takes a matter of seconds to keep yourself from being victimized,” said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator. “Even if you’re only going to be away from your car for a few minutes, never leave the keys inside the car. Take them with you every time, and pause for just a moment to put any valuables, such as wallets or electronics, out of sight. And before you shut the car door, push the lock button. It’s simple steps like those that will lessen your chances of your car, or your personal belongings, falling into a thief’s hands.”
Anyone with information on the persons responsible for the recent string of thefts 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. Tips may also be made online at www.swflcrimestoppers.org or by texting a tip to CRIMES (274637) Keyword: REWARD.