NAPLES, Fla - A controversial project along the coast now has police in Naples involved. WINK News has learned that someone took thousands of dollars in beach renourishment equipment and dumped it into the Gulf of Mexico.
This all happened in the middle of the night at Horizon Way beach access off Gulf Shore Boulevard.
It's the first week of a controversial beach renourishment project in Collier County and just a few days in crews faced an unexpected delay.
Lt. John Barkley with Naples Police Department says, "people took construction fencing and a bunch of barricades and threw them into the Gulf of Mexico."
All in all, 50 barricades and 400 feet of orange fencing used to mark off the area were tossed into the water.
"It was a lot of time. Getting the fencing out of there and fishing all the barricades out of the Gulf of Mexico took awhile, it took time from the project," says Lt. Barkley.
The equipment taken cost around $4,000.
Deborah McKelvey says, "that's a pity. I don't know why anyone would do that."
Police are still trying to figure out who took the barricades and why, but they haven't ruled out an act of retaliation from people who are upset that the trucks are going through their quiet neighborhoods.
"They should do it in a more constructive way than to damage property and throw it in. There's other ways to do that," says McKelvey.
WINK News did see police officers patrolling the area Thursday evening. The County is hopeful this is just an isolated incident. They don't want to speculate about how taxpayers might be affected. But, in this case, all the barricades and netting were recovered and can be used again.