Published: Jan 14, 2013 3:41 PM EST
Updated: Jan 14, 2013 5:48 PM EST

SANIBEL, Fla.- In less than two months, 15 beach front properties on Sanibel Island have been hit by thieves, stealing thousands of dollars worth of cash and jewelry. Now, in response to these repeated crimes, the Sanibel Police Department is offering $25,000 for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible. That extra reward money is on top of the cash Crime Stoppers would offer for one or more arrests in the continuing crimes.

The burglaries started to occur around Thanksgiving, and have steadily repeated through last Friday. Most have taken place during the late afternoon and early evening hours, and every home was located in a very small portion of the city – between the 500 block of East Gulf Drive to the 3400 block of West Gulf Drive. Unfortunately, home owners have made the thief’s job easy, as the suspect has been able to gain entry to every one of the homes through unlocked doors.

“These crimes could have been avoided if residents had taken the single step of locking their doors when they left,” said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator. “Even if you’re only going to be gone for a short amount of time, make sure all doors – especially sliding glass doors – are locked. Criminals can clean house in just a few minutes time.”

Anyone with information on these burglaries is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477). All callers will remain anonymous and will be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 from Crime Stoppers, and $25,000 from the Sanibel Police Department. Tips may also be made online at www.swflcrimestoppers.org or by texting a tip to CRIMES (274637) Keyword: REWARD.

For additional information, contact Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator, at 477-1407 or Sanibel Chief William Tomlinson at 472-3111.