Multiple unknown suspects broke into at least six cars and stole two cars.
Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help identifying these suspects, who committed crimes at the Colonial Oaks gated community in Estero Saturday night.
The unknown suspects burglarized a minimum of six cars in the gated community. Each one of the cars targeted were left unlocked, with personal items stolen. In addition to the break-ins, two cars were stolen outright after spare keys were left inside the unlocked cars.
Kari Mendez, a homeowner in Colonial Oaks was one of the victim’s whose car was broken into by the suspects. She arrived home around 9:40 p.m. Saturday to relieve her babysitter. She said she left her garage door open for mere minutes.
“The moment she opened the door to go to the garage she yelled right away, ‘Kari, there are people running from your car,'” Mendez said.
Mendez dialed 911 to alert law enforcement.
“There’s actually still fingerprint dust on here,” Mendez said the next day, as she looked at her car door.
Mendez was not the lone victim of car burglary Saturday with at least five other burglary victims.
Also, two stolen cars have yet to be found, and a neighbor said the community plans to meet and discuss solutions to this problem.
“Criminals are constantly looking for easy prey, and unlocked vehicles are a prime target,” said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers coordinator. “Residents may feel that because they live in a gated community that they are immune to crime and may let their guard down.”
Security cameras from one of the victims captured images of two suspects rummaging through a car.
Anyone with information on the identities and whereabouts of any suspect can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477). All callers will remain anonymous and will be eligible for a cash reward of up to $3,000. Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or by submitting a tip on the P3Tips mobile app.
“No matter where you live, you should always take precautions and take the quick step of locking your car doors every night and every time,” Routte said.
Trust WINK News to update you as more information becomes available.