6 vehicles stolen early Monday on Marco Island

Marco Island police said Monday six vehicles were stolen on the island early this morning, and another 14 were entered or burglarized.

Two of the stolen vehicles were recovered on the island, as was a vehicle stolen out of Pinellas County. The other four still have not been found.

The incidents occurred on Sheffield, Pepperwood, and Devon courts, Copeland Drive, and Ludlow Road.

The vehicles that have yet to be recovered:

• 2019 Black Lincoln Navigator Georgia License Plate RTC833
• 2017 White Ford F-350 (Raised Suspension) Florida License Plate 16GUB
• 2018 Charcoal Chevy Silverado Florida License Plate CRXP02
• 2007 Black Lexus Sedan Florida License Plate 229RYK

Marco PD said they noted Sunday afternoon that the recently-installed ALPR (Automatic License Plate Reader) system was no longer sending alerts from cameras in one location. The vendor was notified and the alert system was restored Monday morning. Police said that even though the system was offline temporarily, it was still processing and recording data that’s being used in their investigation.

So now, police are having to look through hours worth of video to see if they can find any clues.

Those who had their cars stolen are hopeful that they’ll be returned.

Dennis Kariores is the one who had his 2019 Navigator stolen. “When I walked outside to go to work I was like ‘uhh oh… where’s my car?'” Kariores said.

He says it’s in good condition, too. “It’s only a year and a half old and hardly any miles on it,” said Kariores said.

Others, like Georgia Pavin, woke up and while their car was still in the driveway, they could tell someone had been in it.

“It was just tossed on the seat, a couple tissues and a face mask,” Pavin said.

She’s thankful that nothing was missing but others weren’t as lucky. In total, 14 cars were broken into.

“But I thought ‘wow, shame on me for not locking’ and we all live here on Marco, I’ve been here since 1980, so I always feel this is such a safe island,” said Pavin.

“All my neighbors were like maybe the cameras would catch something,” Kariores said.

The city’s new licensee plate readers failed to send alerts to police during the time that cars were being driven off the island.

“Paid a lot of money for those,” said Kariores.

“That’s interesting too,” Pavin said.

The malfunction was reported to the police department at 2 p.m. on Sunday but the alert system was back online Monday morning.

Some, like Kariores hope the bad guys can be tracked down.

“I’m more disappointed that, ya know 8 cars could be out moving between one and five in the morning when everyone goes to bed at 9 o’clock,” he said.  “It seems like the police would see those cars moving and go, ‘that’s different. I haven’t seen that car moving around that time of day.'”

Again, two of the cars have since been recovered and four are still missing. Police say most of the cars were unlocked or had keys inside, so they want to remind you to lock your doors.

If you have information regarding the above incidents or observe something suspicious, call MIPD at 239-389-5050 or Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at 800-780-TIPS.

Reporter:Gina Tomlinson
Writer:WINK News
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