Business owners on high alert after multiple burglaries in Charlotte County



A fourth break-in has been confirmed in parts of Southwest Florida. Now, business owners in Charlotte County are hoping not to be the next target. Some have even been forced to close as a way to recover.

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s deputies believe these business break-ins are connected, or at least they say it appeared that way. Now the sheriff’s office is encouraging all business owners to make sure their surveillance cameras are working and recording properly before locking down their stores overnight.

Because, so far, delegates have no clear photos or videos of what the person(s) who carried out these thefts look like.

Charlotte County detectives investigated business break-ins. This trend is a rough start to the new year. Claudette Smith is a public information officer for the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office. “Since January alone, we’ve seen four,” Smith said.

Smith said that the sheriff’s office isn’t sure if the break-ins are related, but many suspect they may be. “Smith said.

The first break-in occurred at Pelican’s Snoballs in Port Charlotte. That theft took place overnight from Sunday to Monday. WINK News has videos of forensic experts and delegates handling the scene.

Then there was a similar break-in at Ice Cream Gelato World along the Tamiami Trail. That store owner told WINK News that the intruder inside walked away with the register in less than a minute. Luckily, she got a new door and is now back in business.

Tina Figliuolo is the CEO of the Coalition of the Homeless. When she arrived at the Fabulous Finds Resale Store, along the Tamiami Trail, she was heartbroken with what she found. Figliuolo said: “It was a horrible sight to see someone break into our resale store as part of a non-profit.

When she got there, the door was shattered. Lost some cash and an alliance donation jar they kept at the front counter.

“It is heartbreaking to hear that someone out there is doing this to small businesses. Charlotte County is proud of our small businesses. Especially from a nonprofit, it’s sad to see someone taking advantage of us,” said Figliuolo.

Detectives say they believe the break-ins are related, as the technique is geeky, but they don’t have enough evidence to confirm that.

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Aila Slisco

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