To the editor:
In the month defined between March 17 and April 14, the East District has experienced a modest increase in the overall totals of these crimes: burglaries, thefts and robberies.
The comparisons are going to be relative. Business burglaries remain very low. It seems that there has been a sharp increase in burglaries from vehicles.
Two things contribute to the increase as I see it: 1) our citizens are leaving their possessions in the vehicle where they can be easily seen; 2) many of those same vehicles are being left unlocked.
Residential burglaries remain the highest single criminal activity, the number may be slightly higher than last month. There may be a slight increase in the number of vehicles stolen. Robberies on the other hand appear to have decreased slightly.
The extreme southwest corner of Lehigh is still the location for the most criminal activity. Criminal activity is not limited to that area. The vast majority of criminal activity seems to be in the southern half of Lehigh Acres under an imaginary line drawn if Lee Blvd. were extended to the Hendry County line.
I have written letters to victims of residential burglaries in areas previously virtually untouched. Having said that, it is important to note that the intensity of crime in the Lower Leonard area appears to have come down some.
The sheriff's office continues to appeal to the citizens to report things that "just don't look right." Too often when the deputies canvas after a burglary they will discover a citizen who can give a very good description of what took place, how many were involved and some of what was removed from a home.
If you find yourself in that situation give the sheriff's office a call, we would like get involved.
The Community Watch coordinators are in the process of getting involved in a new social network designed for communities. The hope is that they will be able to stay better connected and be more active in their communities. The goal is to bring criminal activity down by their involvement.
Larry F. Gutridge
Crime Prevention Specialist
Lee County Sheriff's Office