Car burglars steal handgun, cash and cameras from Fort Myers golf community

Posted at 6:27 PM, Jul 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-25 18:27:35-04

The Lee County Sheriff's Office is investigating a rash of car burglaries in the Eagle Ridge golf community in south Fort Myers, near Daniels and Six Mile Cypress Parkways. At least eight cars were found burglarized Monday. A handgun was among the stolen items.

"They got my wallet, all my credit cards and my military IDs," said Steven DePalma, one of 5 of the victims who live on Aerie Way Drive.

DePalma said that while the driver's side door to his truck was locked, the passenger door apparently was not.

"I think they're more or less door-checkers," DePalma said of the burglars. "Whatever door is open, they're going to rummage through."

Thieves also got into three cars on nearby Double Eagle Court, Twin Eagle Lane and Triple Eagle Court, where a 9-millimeter handgun was missing from an unlocked pickup truck. Deputies issued a "Be On The Lookout (BOLO)" for the stolen weapon.

Tuesday morning, The Eagle Ridge Property Owner's Association sent residents an email, saying that they should notice an increase in deputy patrols.

"They said 'watch out, because they're going around the neighborhood, and they're looking for things to steal,'" said Susan Lorenz, an Eagle Ridge resident.

Another recent string of car burglaries were reported on July 3 on nearby Woodland Circle.

"This is a neighborhood that doesn't require an extra patrol normally," DePalma said. "So hopefully (deputies) step it up just a little bit for us and catch these guys."

Other items stolen items included almost $5,200 worth of camera equipment, and about $600 in cash.