The Fort Myers Police Department would like to take this opportunity to make residents aware that distraction burglars are once again operating in our city. The thieves usually prey on the elderly and facilitate their crimes by posing as utility workers, landscapers or contractors.
The most recent incident occurred when a 92-year-old victim answered the door for a subject posing as someone who was installing a fence behind the victim’s home. The unsuspecting homeowner went to the rear of the residence with the suspect and talked about the project for 45-minutes leaving their front door unlocked.
After the conversation the victim went back inside to find contents rummaged through and valuables taken. “This is not the first time this has happened, we’ve had a distraction burglary involving a reflective vested man claiming to be with FPL pointing out the trees he would be cutting down in the backyard as his partner secretly emptied the house from the front,” said West District Community Policing Coordinator Dave Conticelli.
FMPD is asking all residents to do their due diligence to combat this monstrous crime. The following are points to consider:
- Unpermitted soliciting in the City of Fort Myers is not allowed. When you see someone soliciting one of your neighbors a simple call to FMPD using our non-emergency number will allow an officer to further investigate.
- Always obtain identification and proof of a solicitor’s licensing. Feel free to obtain copies, photographs and validate with a phone call on the spot. If something’s not quite right to you, call the police.
- Look out for your elderly neighbors who are sometimes more vulnerable in these situations. Explain to them they should not entertain or speak to uninvited solicitors.
- Be a good witness. If you see something suspicious going on at your neighbor’s house, get good descriptions, tag information and call the police.
- As always keep your doors locked and your valuables safe.
Lieutenant Victor Medico
Public Information Officer
Fort Myers Police Department
2210 Widman Way
Fort Myers, Florida 33901