On July 17, 2014 the Fort Myers Police Department responded to a past-occurred residential burglary on Cushman Circle. The homeowner advised a male knocked on her door claiming he was doing work for her neighbor and asked if she needed any landscaping maintenance.
The male asked the homeowner to exit her residence and come to the side of the residence so he could explain the work. It was at this time the homeowner believes a second subject went through her front door, quickly ransacked the house for valuables and exited through a rear door.
No services were agreed upon and the male left. When the homeowner went back inside she noticed several thousand dollars in jewelry and other household items taken and her back door unlocked.
The suspect is further described as a light skinned Hispanic male in his early to mid-forties, 5’10” to 6’00” tall with a medium build, brown eyes, and short brown hair. He was wearing a plaid button down long sleeve shirt with khaki pants. The suspect arrived in a newer white minivan style vehicle with a sliding door on the driver’s side.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call FMPD at (239) 321-7700, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS or text message C-R-I-M-E-S (274637) Keyword FMPD. Tipsters can remain anonymous.
“Whatever the ruse whether it be landscaping, painting or any unsolicited service homeowners need to be extremely cautious to avoid becoming a victim,” said police spokesperson Lieutenant Victor Medico.
The following are suggestions to minimize risk in similar situations:
• Refuse unsolicited work
• If you wish to entertain unsolicited work try to have someone home with you
• Ask to see credentials
• Write down the tag number of the worker’s vehicle
• Take a picture of them with your phone
• Secure your home before you exit to either talk about the work or inspect the finished product
• When in doubt call 911 immediately