|Published:||Jul 23, 2013 3:58 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Jul 23, 2013 5:08 PM EDT|
COLLIER COUNTY, Fla - It's your money and nearly $1,800 worth of it is in the hands of thieves.
Naples Police say someone stole change from dozens of downtown parking meters.
Diana Jones and her family are visiting Naples from Indiana. Like hundreds of other beach goers, they begin their trip to the beach with a stop at one of the many parking meters.
"Roughly, I put in $1.50," says Jones. It's a little change that added up to a big lump sum for at least one area thief.
"The gentleman who collects the money from the meters went to do his normal collection route and discovered there was money missing when he went to open them up and there wasn't any money in there," says Lt. John Barkley of the Naples Police Department.
The coin seeking crooks targeted nearly every meter between 7th Avenue North all the way down to the Naples Pier at 13th Avenue South.
"I was surprised in an area this nice that something like that would happen," says Jones.
Police say the meters were likely full after a beautiful beach weekend and a large rally and march Sunday night, estimating the suspects got away with nearly $1,800.
"When he was opening the meters, he noticed there wasn't any damage to the meters so someone had a key made that fit the meters," says Lt. Barkley.
The money that goes to each of the meters goes to support the City of Naples Beach Fund. The change adds up, helping to pay for beach maintenance, rescuing birds and storm repair.
"It's just disappointing," says Jones. "It's pretty disappointing that people would do that. That's a lot of work for you know I guess a lot of money to someone."