Man says crooks stole camera with pictures of late mother, hopes for return

A Lee County man said that while he was eating dinner with his daughters at a Fort Myers restaurant, someone broke into his truck and stole a camera that held photos of his late mother. He said he just wants the photos back, especially because the theft happened the day before her birthday.

Save for a just a few prints, Daniel Elm said the majority of remaining photos of his mother were stolen recently.

“When we came out, the back window was smashed out, and all my toolboxes had been stolen,” Elm said. “And, unfortunately, inside of one of them was a very special camera that contained photos spanning the last five years, including many of my mom.”

Elm said it was supposed to be a special weekend for him and his twin daughters to celebrate the life of his mother who died a year ago.

“Today, I wanted to look at the pictures of my mom, and I can’t,” Elm said.

Elm said someone broke into his truck outside Square 1 Burgers at Page Field Commons. The thief took more than $3,000 worth of equipment, including his camera. Elm said thousands of photos, not saved anywhere else, were on the SD card inside the camera.

“I never really had a chance to load them all into my laptop,” Elm said.

On what would have been his mother’s birthday, Elm is hoping for a miracle, that someone will return his camera.

“That’s a special thing that they’ve taken,” Elm said. “And that it would be so great for me to have it back because I can’t replace those beautiful memories, and I can’t take any more pictures of my mom.”

Of course, Elm would like all of his things back. But he is pleading that whoever took his camera will at least return the SD card that was in it.

Elm reported the incident to Lee County Sheriff’s Office, and he’s hoping this will serve as a reminder to everyone to make sure you take your valuables out of your car.

If you or someone you know has information about where Elm’s camera is, anonymous tips can be submitted to Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477) or online at the SWFL Crime Stoppers website.

“We all make mistakes but all I want back are my pictures of my mom because they’re very special to me and my daughters,” Elm said.

Reporter:Breana Ross
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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