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Increase in crimes during pandemic

Posted at 6:38 PM, Apr 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-23 18:45:16-04

Cape Coral, Fla, — Cape Coral Police Department reports an increase in crime during the pandemic. Specifically, barricade situations like the incidents that happened in Cape Coral Wednesday and Thursday morning.

They said they think it’s due to a variety of reasons, people are out of work, they have more time on their hands, and overall anxiety caused by the pandemic.

They said Patricia McConville shot into a neighbor’s house on SE 45th St. After a three-hour standoff with police, officers tased her and got her into custody. Then she kicked and spat on a sergeant.

CCPD Master Sergeant Patrick O’Grady said they noticed the crime increase when the pandemic started.

“In general we’ve seen an uptick, because now people are not able to do what they would normally do. They can’t go to work. They can’t recreate the way they normally did,” he said.

O’Grady said officers responded to that same house Monday when McConville threw a brick into a neighbor’s home. He said he’s not sure if it’s the case here, but the up-and-down economy could also be causing the crime increase.

“People losing their jobs. They’re losing their careers, and their futures are somewhat up in the air right now.>

Fort Myers psychologist Dr. Laura Streyffeler said it’s deeper than that.

“I think people are panicking,” she said.

She said many are feeling out of control and turning to drugs and alcohol to cope.

Like the crime that played out just before two Thursday morning. CCPD arrested Kendrick Hubbell for locking himself inside a Circle K on Cape Coral Parkway storage room and stealing alcohol and cigarettes.

CCPD say they’ve seen more domestic violence complaints, too. Not surprising to Streyffeler as people turn to alternatives to try to regain power in their life.

“Very often in controlling their partner or situations. Or just going the other way and totally losing control,” she said.

Streyffeler reassured people who may be panicking during this uncertain time.

“I think people are feeling afraid and trapped, and like they’re never going to be able to leave their house, and be safe. And to know that, that’s not true,” she said.

O’Grady said you can call the police department if you’re concerned someone is a victim of domestic violence or any other crime. You can reach out to Abuse Counseling and Treatment, Inc. for support or call their 24-hour hotline at (239) 939-3112.