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Concession stand hit several times

June 18, 2014
By MEL TOADVINE ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

Shelly Bruno, a Lehigh Acres parent whose children who have been active in local sports, says she's very angry about the ongoing break-ins and the youth league concession stand at Lehigh Acres Community Park on the corner of Williams Avenue and 5th Street.

"They broke in last week and the week before," so I have heard and it is really wrong about what is going on."

"They cleaned out a refrigerator in the last break-in and in the past have taken money and candy."

Colleen Burch, another parent said that one door was cut open and culprits used a bolt cutter and cut the wires off of it. She told a reporter that it looked like the roll shutter for the front may have been kicked in, too. She said it was very frustrating.

"It's taking away from the kids, it's not taking away from anyone else; it's taking away from the kids," she said.

Dave Harner agrees that it is frustrating when such incidents like this take place. He said it affects good people in Lehigh who volunteer, people who want to help in their community. Harner is Lee County Parks and Recreation director.

The break-ins are isolated incidents but this year already, there have been five break-ins and that is more than typical, according to Harner.

The five cases are being investigated by the Lee County Sheriff's Office.

Those that operate the concession stand have been told to take all food and money out when nobody is there and in the meantime, steps are being taken to keep such incidents from happening again.

Security lighting has been added and the locks have been changed and upgraded in the building and Harner has asked the Sheriff's Office to increase patrols there.

While there may be insurance for break-ins, Lee County Recreation and Parks, officials want whoever is breaking in to the stand be found and held accountable. Because they take candy and money, it is believed that the suspects are children.

If you know the identity of the thieves who are breaking into the concession stand at that particular park, call the sheriff's office at 477-1000. You can also call CrimeStoppers and not give your name and be eligible for a cash reward. That number is 1-800-780-TIPS.



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