Woman caught stealing from business that was shut down due to COVID-19

Posted at 7:35 PM, Apr 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-06 19:35:29-04

FORT MYERS BEACH — It’s hard enough having to close your business due to COVID-19.

Now imagine getting robbed on top of it. That’s what happened to the Swap Shop antique store in Fort Myers Beach. The crime was caught on security cameras, and watching the video, owner Ben Whitley said it’s still hard to believe.

“I thought that, if somebody pulled up and saw six video cameras in front of the front door, that that might deter them, but obviously not," said Whitley.

From multiple angles, Whitley’s cameras caught the woman walk right past the “No Trespassing" sign, squeeze between the fence and the stairway, and grab artwork off the wall.

“It’s disgusting. That’s why I finally broke down and called the sheriff’s department," said Whitley.

Whitley said, he’s let stuff like this slide in the past, but the thought of someone taking advantage of his business during a pandemic makes it worse.

“Now it’s nerve-racking, because here I am every day now. Even though I can’t be open, I’m here, just because I worry about it," said Whitley.

In addition to notifying the Sheriff, Whitley has also posted the video to social media in an effort to track the woman down.

“I think when she goes before the judge, she’s going to have a hard time explaining this," said Whitley.