A woman was tied up and robbed by three men, one of them pretending to be pest control, Friday morning.
The incident occurred at an apartment in the 4000 block of DeLeon Street, according to a Fort Myers Police Department news release.
The victim told police a dark-skinned man wearing a pest control uniform knocked on her door to treat her home for pests. Once inside, the man tied the victim up and let two other men — one with a gun — inside.
The woman was not assaulted but her apartment was ransacked, police said.
Ronnie Casey, a nearby neighbor, said she wouldn’t think twice if someone knocked on her door and said they were pest control. Pest control is on the property all of the time, she said.
“Each apartment complex gets pest control every three months so they come in and they spray until you just figure, oh it’s my time,” Casey said.
Fort Myers police said the three men robbed the woman and fled.
“We believe this female particularly may have been targeted for a specific reason,” said Fort Myers police Det. Amanda Averill.
Rick Kolko, WINK News Safety & Security Specialist, spoke to us about how to deal with situations like these.
“If you’re home alone, you know, pick up the phone and be on the phone with somebody when the pest control folks come in,” Kolko said. “If they see you talking to somebody, and they’re there to rob you, that might change their mind.”
Koko said people with leases are typically notified of scheduled visits ahead of time, and a quick phone call can prevent something like this from happening.
“If you don’t recognize the person, make sure you ask for identification,” Kolko said. “Don’t hesitate to call the company that they say that they’re representing. Make sure you call the office for the apartment or the condo that you’re living in to see if maintenance is scheduled that day.”
Fort Myers police officers are searching for the three suspects.
“If you have anything scheduled for that day and you get a knock on your door, I would confirm first that they are the people that supposed to be there at that time and if you cannot do that just call the police and don’t open your door,” said Fort Myers police Det. Starlowvia Moise. “To stay safe, do not let anyone in your home you are not expecting or do not know.”