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Posted on: September 2, 2020

Unlocked Vehicle Burglary Arrests and(For Immediate Release) Date: September 2, 2020 PSA


(For Immediate Release)

Date: September 2, 2020

 Lock it or Lose it PSA

This is a Public Service Announcement intended to keep our citizens informed and encourage our community to value their own possessions. The below listed incidents have recently plagued our community and it is the intention of the Fort Myers Police Department to highlight the job our Department is/has done, while educating our citizens on the tactics being deployed by these criminals; therefore, we can learn from our repeated mistakes and work together to defeat future criminal activity. The Fort Myers Police Department has identified one major repeat mistake that continues to allow these criminals to successfully deprive over 97 citizens of their property within the last 2 months. That common mistake is UNLOCKED motor vehicles. The private investment of surveillance cameras from our citizens has been extremely helpful in solving these crimes, but the Fort Myers Police Department’s intention is to prevent these crimes from happening in the first place. We can assure our citizens that your Officers are hard at work and actively patrolling your streets to ensure the safety of you and your property, but now, we are asking for your help. Please lock your doors. Remove your valuables from plain view. Do your part to ensure these criminals leave your community empty handed and frustrated before they run into your district’s Officer who is following closely behind them.

There will always be crimes of opportunity however it is the job of each of us and each of our community members to assist in the overall picture. Simple steps can prevent loss of property that in many cases is never recovered.

Here is a recent timeline of events that occurred in our West District portion of the City of Fort Myers. This video clip shows how easy it is for criminals to capitalize on opportunity. We have since captured and arrested two of the three subjects after tireless hours of reviewing video footage and excellent police work however without help from all this will continue.

The below spree occurred on August 26, 2020 in the early morning hours…

Incident 1. A vehicle, which was left UNLOCKED, led to two firearms being stolen (listed below).

*1 Mossberg 590 - stainless steel pump shotgun

*1 Smith and Wesson 9mm shield

*Several hundred rounds of reloaded .38 super ammunition

Incident 2: Surveillance footage captured three juvenile males, all involved in incident #1, approach the driveway and enter another UNLOCKED BMW, after which they successfully drive away in vehicle. It was learned that the males were able to start the vehicle due to the keys being left in the center console. The footage also captured one male enter the driver seat as another male entered the vehicle, while the third male, seen carrying the above listed shotgun from incident #1, enters the vehicle and leaves the residence. This vehicle was later recovered at Pepper Tree Apartments by the Fort Myers Police Department.

Incident 3: The above listed and recently stolen BMW from incident #2, was captured on surveillance footage entering a complex. The same three males are then seen pulling on several vehicle door handles in the complex, moving past the vehicle that were locked. All three males then located an UNLOCKED silver F250 and proceeded to enter it. This vehicle also had its keys left inside, which led to one of the males driving it out of the complex after which the other two males follow behind in their stolen BMW.

*The silver F250 was later recovered by the Fort Myers Police Department on Handy Court later that morning.

Incident 4: A vehicle left UNLOCKED and a wallet, which contained $300 dollars in cash, was left inside. This led to a quick vehicle burglary that was captured on surveillance footage.

Fort Myers Police Department effected arrests related to these incidents (listed below):

Melvin Lewis (10/23/05) and Michael Thomas (09/22/04) were located and arrested on August 28, 2020, inside a relative’s vehicle on Guava Street. Both juveniles had firearms on their person during the arrest by JDI and GVI. Thomas had the stolen Smith and Wesson Shield on his person.

Both males were transported to the Juvenile Assessment Center with numerous Felony charges to include: Burglary, Theft, Vehicle Theft, and Possession of Firearm.

Michael Thomas

Thomas, Michael

Melvin Lewis

Melvin Lewis

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