Cape Coral, Fla. — New video from SW 17th from Monday shows a roaming band of thieves, testing car door handles, and searching for an easy target.
“They want to make sure they go in, go out and you don’t report it for 5 to 6 hours,” CPL said. Philip Mullen from the Cape Coral Police Department.
Videos such as those taken via security cameras on Monday show tactics used by thieves in Cape Coral, and more recently, they have been on the rise.
Car thieves targeted ten Cape Coral residents living within a few blocks of each other in the early hours of Sunday.
Four thefts took place in the 3500 block of SE Third Avenue, one in the 3500 block of SE Third Place and the other in the 3700 block. Two car thefts occurred in the 3500 and 3900 blocks of SE 4th Avenue and two more in the 4000 block of Palm Tree Boulevard.
The victims said they not only stole their belongings, but also their sense of security.
“You’re going down. You get caught, you go down. You’re wrong. You’re wrong. You’re wrong,” said Elizabeth Wood, sharing a message to the criminals who lost her car and nine others over the weekend. Went to the people. Wood said they stole church papers and homework from her.
Across the street, Wood said the thieves stole iPads, money, and equipment.
On the street, Terry Koehler said the thieves didn’t get much.
“He only took a car manual out of the glove box,” he said.
Common theme among neighbors: Open doors.
“It was our fault but it’s still a violation,” Koehler said.
The thieves took away some valuables but also left behind valuable evidence.
“There was a good match between their fingerprints and on a video, a camera captured them so they were pretty sure they knew who they were,” Koehler said.
It is the most common type of property crime in the city, carried out by groups checking car door handles at night. Often the police cordon off entire neighborhoods, even using helicopters, like they did on Tuesday morning.
“If it hasn’t happened in the past, and we have suspects in the area, we’ll set up a perimeter, try and close that, so if they’re still inside that perimeter, we’re going to catch them. ,” said Mullen.
But what ultimately happens is the dismayed victims the morning after their cars are vandalized while the police search for clues on how to nab the perpetrators.
Now all they hope is that people know how to lock their car doors when they park outside.
“If they find it locked, they go to your neighbor and try and see if they find their unlocked one.”