Southwest Florida Crime Stopper is looking for a man who was caught on video stealing mangoes from a tree on July 23.
The man went onto private property and stole mangoes off of a tree. The property is located on Cypress Lake Drive in south Fort Myers.
Tim McGrath lives nearby and owns his own mango tree.
“These trees produce so many he’d be there for an awfully long time,” McGrath said. “Our experience is more people coming, knocking on the door, asking if they can take them down or buy them even if they take them down.”
Mangoes are sweet and they’re high-value crops and they’re only available a few times a year.
Carol Etscovitz owns Promised Lands Mangoes in Bokeelia.
She said mango season only lasts about 10 weeks.
“It starts about the beginning of June, ends about the end of July a little bit into August,” Etscovitz said.
While mangoes are desirable, you never know what you are going to get.
“They don’t know if they’re gonna get a good mango or a bad mango or you know, a mango that’s just not going to taste good because it’s not, hasn’t ripened properly,” Etscovitz said.
That’s why she urged everyone follow the lessons we learned in grade school.
If it’s not yours, don’t take it and if you want something, ask for permission.
“If you go up to the homeowner during the day and ask them, they will probably be more than happy to give you some and a lot of people put out buckets by their driveway with free signs on them. So stealing is really unnecessary,” Etscovitz said.
If you have any information on this incident or can identify the pictured individual, call Crime Stoppers 1-800-780-TIPS (8477), submit a tip online at SWFL Crime Stoppers.