Gateway Sun

If you’re on social media regularly, you may feel as though the number of people posting about their vehicles being broken in to in Gateway is on the rise.

Unfortunately,¬†you’re not imagining things. Vehicle break-ins are becoming increasingly common in the area.

I receive crime reports for the Gateway community from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office on a regular basis, so I’m not surprised when I read about break-ins on Facebook or Nextdoor. But I have to admit, I was stunned to receive the following report this past Friday detailing an unprecedented number of burglaries the evening before and in the early morning.

Here’s what the report contained:

#18-418384 BURGLARY STRUCTURE
125XX WALDEN RUN DR, FORT MYERS, FL
Sep 7, 2018 at 5:35 am

#18-418431 LARCENY
125XX FAIRMONT DR, FORT MYERS, FL
Sep 7, 2018 at 1:30 am

#18-418417 BURGLARY CONVEYANCE
114XX BENT PINE DR, FORT MYERS, FL
Sep 7, 2018 at 12:00 am

#18-420670 BURGLARY CONVEYANCE
102XX AVALON LAKE CIR, FORT MYERS, FL
Sep 6, 2018 at 11:00 pm

#18-418613 BURGLARY CONVEYANCE
101XX BELCREST BLVD, FORT MYERS, FL
Sep 6, 2018 at 11:00 pm

#18-418919 BURGLARY CONVEYANCE
101XX BELCREST BLVD, FORT MYERS, FL
Sep 6, 2018 at 9:30 pm

#18-418432 BURGLARY CONVEYANCE
101XX AVALON LAKE CIR, FORT MYERS, FL
Sep 6, 2018 at 9:21 pm

#18-418522 BURGLARY CONVEYANCE
101XX AVALON LAKE CIR, FORT MYERS, FL
Sep 6, 2018 at 8:45 pm

#18-418529 LARCENY
100XX AVALON LAKE CIR, FORT MYERS, FL
Sep 6, 2018 at 6:00 pm

Things really hit home when Mark G. from Gateway posted the following message on social media:

“We live in Walden Lakes and at approx 5:35 this morning we heard a noise and then within a couple of minutes saw a person entering our bedroom with a flashlight. We immediately jumped up (briefly saw another person running through our home) called 911 and waited until officers arrived. The intruders removed a screen and got through a window on the side of our house. Most items they took (wallets, phones) were recovered outside of our home except for cash from our wallets. We are still unnerved that this happened and can’t believe we didn’t hear them entering our home. Be very careful and make sure all doors and windows are locked and security systems are activated. We have reported this information to the police.”

Suddenly a few lines of text in a report numbered #18-418384 had a name and a family associated with it, and a terrifying story.

The dots were also connected as to why people were asking why helicopters were observed circling above the Gateway Greens community. It seems highly likely the LCSO were searching for the home intruders.

Gateway is hardly the only area in Lee County experiencing burglaries and break-ins lately, but there’s no doubt that the level of criminal activity has been unusually high in recent days.

The recent increase prompted the LCSO to issue the following warning:

There has been a recent increase in vehicle burglaries in the Gateway area. Please secure your doors on a regular basis. Bring key fobs, garage door openers, firearms, and personal property inside. If you see any suspicious activity or have a picture or video, you can report it to:central@sheriffleefl.org or call 239-477-1850.

I realize it goes without saying that the LCSO’s statement is common sense and good advice. But I can tell you that there has genuinely been an uptick in break-ins lately in Gateway, especially to vehicles. You would be wise to heed the LCSO’s warning and make sure your doors are locked and to make sure anything of value from your vehicles (especially firearms) are brought in to your home.

Hopefully the recent spike in crime in the area is just an anomoly.

Regardless, it stands to reason that you should take the time and make the effort to examine your property’s security situation and make any improvements where necessary.

About Jeff Kuntz

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Editor of the Gateway Sun and owner of restaurant delivery service Florida Food Runner.

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