LEHIGH ACRES, Fla.- Scrap metal thieves have struck again in Lehigh Acres. A boat propeller used as an ornament was stolen from Randy Smith's front yard.
Now only divots are left in the spots once occupied by two propellers.
"The first one was stolen approximately August of last year. The last one was this week," explained Smith.
The propellers once moved a private 165 foot vessel where Smith was in charge of operating the crew.
"They are more of sentimental value," said Smith.
For Smith, the propellers are more than a piece of metal. His old bosses gave them to him as a present, and ever since, they were placed in his front yard as ornaments. Now he blames scrap metal thieves for their disappearance.
"I'm heartbroken because you can't replace them. They are irreplaceable," Smith told WINK News.
Smith tells WINK News both propellers were taken during the day. He believes it took 3 people to move them.
"4 1/2 feet in diameter and about 650 pounds. So it's not something easy move," said Smith.
Smith says that brand new, the propellers cost $20,000 each.
"If just for scrap value approximate $2,000. If you recondition them, they are worth about $15,000," he said.
The thieves, Smith says, knew the value of what they were stealing.
"It's a low life going around stealing. I know the economy has pushed people to do things they normally wouldn't do. But this doesn't give them the right to go to other people's properties and steal their items," said Smith.
Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call the Lee County Sheriff's Office.