WINK’s Neighborhood Watch: car crimes on the rise in Southwest Florida

Writer: Rachel Murphy

What, or who, should you be looking out for in your neighborhood? WINK’s Neighborhood Watch recaps some of the local crimes happening in Southwest Florida this week.  

Brandon Cox – Golden Gate

Brandon Cox was arrested Wednesday for breaking into cars.  

A witness spotted Cox trying to break into cars at 19th Avenue Southwest in Collier County on Tuesday. 

His eye injury is said to result from a fight, according to deputies. 

Read the full report here.

Aaron Mondragon – Lehigh Acres

According to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, the victim was putting air in their tire when Aaron Mondragon jumped into their running car and took off at the RaceTrac on Lee Boulevard in Lehigh Acres Monday night. 

The car’s owner tried to stop him and was dragged nearly 30 feet by the car through the parking lot. 

Deputies launched police helicopters to look for Mondragon and found him hiding in thick bushes behind a Publix. 

The victim’s car was later found ditched about half a mile from the RaceTrac on Lee Boulevard. 

Read the full report here.

Jonathan Rivera – South Naples

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office arrested Jonathan Rivera for illegal street racing and evading police on U.S. 41. 

Rivera was arrested after passing a deputy at nearly 100 mph east of Johns Street. Upon seeing the police lights, Rivera began to accelerate his vehicle to evade police. 

A 20-year-old woman who witnesses saw walking away from the sedan with Rivera and who ran from deputies was also taken into custody and charged with resisting arrest. 

Read the full report here.

If you’re seeing a trend with car crusaders outside of this recap, you’re not the only one. Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office also reported a rise in car crimes Friday, “We are seeing a rise in what we call a “crime of opportunity”. Thieves are checking to see if doors are locked and helping themselves when they find ones that are not. They are also outright smashing windows to get to valuables that are left in plain sight, such as purses.” 

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