Thieves broke into three construction sites in Estero this week, getting away with dozens of expensive power tools worth thousands. The thefts happened in and around the Coconut Point shopping center off of U.S. 41, some time between Wednesday and Thursday.
At one site on Via Villagio, contractor John DeAngelis said the burglars likely cut through the padlocks of the fenced-off site with bolt-cutters, using those tools to get their hands on two generators, two compressors, and dozens of other tools.
"We;ve done a lot of work in the Coconut Point district, and this is really the first incident we've ever had," said DeAngelis, whose construction firm is building a City Mattress store at the site.
Two other nearby construction sites were hit around the same time. At one, on Via Coconut Point, thieves grabbed everything from nail guns to powered saws.
At a third construction site on Lyden Drive, across U.S. 41 from Coconut Point, the lock to a storage container was reportedly drilled open, but nothing was noticed to be missing, according to a report from the Lee County Sheriff's Office.
DeAngelis said that his crews will do their best to keep things locked up tight.
"We do have full-time security on larger projects, but on a smaller scale project it isn't feasible to do so," he said. "If they're going to cut through locks and things like that, and take the risk of getting caught, then unfortunately we can't prevent it every time."
Fox 4 reached out to Coconut Point management to see if they plan to enhance security in light of the incidents, but we are still waiting for a response.