Published: May 21, 2010 7:04 PM EDT
Updated: May 21, 2010 7:02 PM EDT

SOUTH FORT MYERS, Fla. - In the wake of 17 auto thefts in just six months in a South Fort Myers neighborhood, a local concerned citizen, who wishes to remain anonymous, is now offering a $500 reward through Crime Stoppers for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible.

Detectives with the Lee County Sheriff's Office say they believe all 17 grand theft auto (GTA) incidents are related -- and tied into the same suspect or group of individuals. All of the vehicles have been taken from South Fort Myers and the Edisto Lakes area off Pine Ridge Road.

Several have been recovered in that same general area, however some of the vehicles remain stolen. The most recent incident involved the theft of a Dodge Durango from a local car dealership sometime between 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 17, and 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 18.

Within 24 hours, detectives recovered the truck and returned it to its rightful owner, however the suspect remains unknown, and at large. Anyone with information on the string of auto thefts in the South Fort Myers/Edisto Lakes area is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477).

All callers will remain anonymous and will be eligible for up to $1,000 in rewards from Crime Stoppers, as well as the $500 additional reward from the concerned citizen. Tips may be made 24 hours a day, and can also be made on-line at SWFLCrimeStoppers.org.