Published: May 13, 2011 10:09 PM EDT
Updated: May 13, 2011 7:09 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Detectives assigned to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Bravo District Criminal Investigations Division have linked a Lehigh Acres man to eleven area burglaries.

Willie James Sirmons Jr., 31, of 2401 Hightower Avenue, Lehigh Acres is charged with thirty-six felonies for his role in stealing large quantities of aluminum that he was scrapping at area recycling facilities. In total, he made more than $2,500 for his crimes.

The investigation into Sirmons began in Oct. 2010, when deputies saw an increase in burglaries in the Leonard Boulevard area of Lehigh Acres. Four burglaries in six weeks occurred at Flesher Windows, located at 511 Leonard Boulevard, Lehigh Acres. Seven additional burglaries, including four more at 511 Leonard Boulevard (now known as Eastern Architectural Systems), two at Dream Works Aluminum, located at 5615 8th Street West, Lehigh Acres, and one at Liberty Aluminum, located at 5613 6th Street West, Lehigh Acres were reported after March 2011.

In April 2011, thanks to information obtained through the course of the investigation, detectives identified Willie Sirmons as a possible suspect. Investigators proceeded to gather intelligence on Sirmons, studied surveillance video obtained from the victimized businesses and went over receipts from local recycling facilities. On May 12, Sirmons was arrested and transported to the Lee County Jail without incident. His charges include burglary, grand theft, felony criminal mischief, dealing in stolen property and false verification of ownership to a secondary metal recycler.

Detectives estimate his crimes cost local businesses an estimated fifty-thousand dollars in stolen materials.