Thieves are stealing steel hurricane shutters to sell for scrap.
By Katie Jones Courtesty of FOX 4 NEWS, WFTX-TV, FT. MYERS/NAPLES, FL
COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- Tis the season for severe weather. But, owner of Naples Shutter Brian Trecek said it is also a time to steal.
"Somebody found out, hey it is an easy way to make buck, there are a lot of people in tough times in this economy so they're doing it." Trecek said.
The Collier County Sheriff's Office is warning about this growing crime. Seasonal residents who think they're protecting their homes by putting the shutters up before leaving for summer, but are actually giving thieves an opportunity to pounce.
" It is easy to do nobody is there, you know they aren't there because the metal panels are on the homes. So, for somebody to come by take out a couple of screws, they can go get money for metal panels." Trecek said.
Criminals then tend to cash the metal in at scrap yards.
To keep your home storm safe and crime free, law enforcement officials said to engrave an identifiable marking, like your address on to each shutter. That can help authorities recover stolen property.
Trecek said there is also alternative hurricane protection in the form of fabric.
" It is a material that is 200 mph hurricane protection. It is better than steel and easier to deploy." Trecek said.
By stealing, Trecek said criminals are putting homes in severe danger just to make a couple bucks.
" Say if you had a 2,500 square foot home and you're paying 2 thousand dollars for metal panels and someone's stealing them. They're only getting 40-50 bucks, it is just not worth it." Trecek said.
If you think you've been a victim of shutter theft or have noticed anything suspicious going on in your neighborhood, call the Collier County Sheriff's office at 239-252-9300.