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By AJ Ackerman - #1 Agent | Agent in Cape Coral, FL
  • Violent offenses in Cape Coral at lowest level since 2000

    Posted Under: General Area in Cape Coral, Crime & Safety in Cape Coral  |  July 10, 2012 4:35 AM  |  1,051 views  |  No comments

    Violent offenses in Cape Coral at lowest level since 2000

    Police hail citizen cooperation.

    Written by

    While escalating murder figures in Fort Myers have grabbed the spotlight lately, crime in Cape Coral has been slowly dropping, with violent crime now the lowest it has been in more than a decade.

    Numbers released by the Cape Coral Police Department on Monday show the city’s reported violent crimes — homicides, sex offenses, aggravated assaults and robberies — fell 21 percent in the first six months of this year compared to the same period last year.

    The violent crime total is the lowest since at least 2000, the earliest year available on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement website, despite a population increase of more than 50,000 since then.

    Property crimes are down 10 percent as well, while all “Part I” crimes — which include more serious offenses — slid 11 percent.

    Crime numbers from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office are expected Thursday while Fort Myers police said it will release a report soon.

    Cape police spokesman Lt. Tony Sizemore said much of the city’s dip in crime can be tied to cooperation with residents.

    “People feel confident to call us and the word’s getting out,” Sizemore said. “The police and the public working together works, and this is proof of it.”

    The city, he pointed out, saw one violent crime for every 1,579 residents, compared to one for every 1,002 residents two years ago.

    “It’s rare that you’re going to be the victim of a violent crime and it’s trending that it’s becoming even more rare, not impossible, but it’s looking that way,” Sizemore said.

    The only category to see an increase was vehicle thefts, which rose from 48 to 59. Sizemore said it was a minor bump consistent with the typical ebb and flow of crime.

    Cape Councilman Kevin McGrail said the numbers show the city is still one of the safest in the state, and getting safer.

    McGrail said he was concerned, though, by a few recent violent episodes — including the alleged crime spree of Antonio Thomas — that demonstrate how easily crime can transcend borders.

    Thomas, 29, is accused of raping and killing Phyllis Stein, 61, after kidnapping her from in front of her Cape home last month.

    “In this case, she was abducted in Cape Coral and killed in North Fort Myers and (Thomas) went home to Fort Myers in a stolen car,” McGrail said.

    He said cooperative efforts between local law enforcement agencies can help them keep better tabs on such offenders.

    Cape resident Bill Trenum said although the crime data suggests a downward trend, certain areas of the city are still plagued by too much illegal activity, much of it tied to drugs.

    Trenum said he’d like to see addicts and the pawn shops where they hawk their stolen wares given the same treatment as metal thieves and scrap recyclers, which have contended with greater regulation from a metal theft ordinance and more attention in the form of a local task force.

    “You don’t hear about AC thefts as much,” he said. “They cracked down on that.”

    Heather King, who moved to the Cape from Orlando, said crime rates in the two cities don’t compare.

    “In Orlando, you lock your car, you walk with keys in your knuckles and you carry mace in your purse,” King said. “Compared to Orlando, this is heaven crime-wise.”

  • Cape Coral Violent Crime Drops Nearly 14%

    Posted Under: General Area in Cape Coral, Crime & Safety in Cape Coral, In My Neighborhood in Cape Coral  |  March 19, 2012 4:44 AM  |  1,458 views  |  No comments

    The Cape Coral Police Department is releasing Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) statistics for 2011. The department saw a drop of violent crimes of 13.8 percent. The largest drop was in the area of robberies, sex offenses and aggravated batteries.

    Non-violent crime rose slightly by 5.9 percent; however, burglaries are down 5.2 percent. The rise in total non-violent crime can be attributed to an increase in thefts reported. The largest increase was larceny which includes shoplifting complaints, bicycle thefts as well as theft of property from residences committed by known persons.

    The Cape Coral Police Department’s case clearance rate also improved, meaning officers and detectives are clearing a higher percentage of cases.

    “We are encouraged by the decrease in violent crime. Although there was an increase in thefts, the department is pleased with an improved case clearance rate over an already strong percentage,” said Lieutenant Tony Sizemore.

    Provided by The City of Cape Coral - www.capecoral.net

     
  • $64 Concealed Carry Class

    Posted Under: General Area in Bonita Springs, Crime & Safety in Bonita Springs, In My Neighborhood in Bonita Springs  |  August 14, 2011 4:32 AM  |  2,073 views  |  No comments
     $64 Concealed Carry Class
    Organization: Gun School, Inc.

    CONCEALED WEAPONS PERMITS CWP CCW www.Gun-School.com/CWP ALL INCLUSIVE! + Applications Provided/Notarized + Shooting onsite & Postage-Paid + Photos taken & printed + Done in only 2-hours! + Valid in 35 States! Students must book their seat(s) ahead of time: www.Gun-School.com/CWP

    Date: Monday August 15, 2011
    Time: 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    Venue: Gun School, Inc.
    Address: 9990 Coconut Rd.
    Location: Bonita Springs
    Email: info@gun-school.com
    Website: www.Gun-School.com/CWP

  • Cape Police get high marks on citizen survey

    Posted Under: Crime & Safety in Cape Coral, Market Conditions in Cape Coral, Home Buying in Cape Coral  |  May 31, 2011 4:31 AM  |  2,236 views  |  No comments

    The people of Cape Coral think the police department is doing a good job and gave it high marks on this year's citizen survey. But it was a different story when residents gave their marks for the city as a whole.

    Bob Vittoria has been a resident of Cape Coral for 6 years. While he has his complaints, he says the one thing he likes is that, "I feel safe. I like my neighborhood. I like where I'm living."

    And he's not the only one.

    "I think the police do a good job," said Cape resident Larry Sailor.

    Cape Coral has been ranked the second safest city in Florida for years. But police say the perception that it's safe wasn't always there.

    So for the past six months, Cape Coral has been trying to change that. The department started a community engagement program and a police advisory board - both to get citizens involved in policing the community.

    "We're a team and when you get the community involved and they know what you're doing they can give you feedback and you can improve," said Cape Police Lieutenant Tony Sizemore.

    And those efforts seem to be working.

    In a recent study called the National Citizens Survey:

    - 95 percent of Cape Coral residents said they feel safe in their neighborhood
    - 82-percent said they feel safe after dark
    - 61-percent said they feel safe against property crimes

    All of those percentages are up when compared to the same survey last year.

    And when you compare Cape Coral to other cities that were surveyed, the Cape ranks average or above average when it comes to public safety.

    "We were doing a good job before. We're just doing a better job of telling people what we do and letting them know and inviting them in," Sizemore said.

    He said the numbers prove the department is on the right track.

    In many other categories though, the Cape ranked much below average when compared to other cities of similar size.

    Just 35 percent of Cape Coral residents like the services they get for the taxes they pay, 48-percent like the reputation of Cape Coral and just 32-percent like the direction Cape Coral is taking.

    The city blames the bad economy for these survey results - saying during the housing boom the numbers were good. But since the bust, they've been taking a dive

    Cape Councilman Bill Deile says he and other city officials are doing what they can with the conditions they have.

    "I can't make your house worth more. I can't find you a job. We're trying to bring more businesses to the area," he said. We have very few levers that we can control. We're trying to keep expenses down."

    But he says until the economy improves, the numbers won't improve - nor will the opinions.

  • Cape Coral 2nd safest big city in Florida, crime stats find

    Posted Under: General Area in Cape Coral, Crime & Safety in Cape Coral, In My Neighborhood in Cape Coral  |  May 31, 2011 4:28 AM  |  2,409 views  |  1 comment

    Cape Coral is the second safest city in the state when it comes to crime, according to 2010 statistics released today by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

    There were 4,063 crimes — from larceny to murder — committed in the city of 164,000 last year, according to the FDLE, or 2,467.3 crimes per 100,000 residents.

    Cape's ranking is for Florida cities with a population of 100,000 or more.

    Port St. Lucie, population, 156,392, ranked first with 2,300 crime per 100,000 residents.

    Orlando was the worst with 7,779 crimes per 100,000, with St. Petersburg next at 6,726.

    Among serious crimes, Cape had three murders, 45 rapes, 49 robberies and 289 aggravated assaults in 2010. There also were 909 burglaries. Officers cleared 26 percent of the crimes, ranking seventh of 19 cities.

    “This is proof of the teamwork between the residents of Cape Coral and their Police Department," Cape Coral Police Chief Jay Murphy said. "We’re all on the same team and share the same goal of making this city a safe place to work, play, raise a family and retire.”

  • Dog Obedience Lessons

    Posted Under: Crime & Safety in Cape Coral, Parks & Recreation in Cape Coral, In My Neighborhood in Cape Coral  |  March 24, 2011 4:20 AM  |  2,314 views  |  No comments

    Dog Obedience Lessons
    Start Date: 03/24/2011  7:30 PM
    End Date: 03/24/2011  8:30 PM
    Description:

    Dog Obedience Lessons:
    Classes are held in the employee parking lot
    at Cape Coral City Hall;

    1015 Cultural Park Blvd;


    Thursday nights from 7:30 - 8:30 p.m.

     

    Activity # 345710: March 24 - May 19, 2011

     


    Registration is the first night of class, beginning at 7:00 p.m. 
    You may register in advance with Parks & Recreation, but you will need to sign in with parks & recreation the first night AND  show proof of shots to the dog obedience club.

     {Refunds are subject to L.C.D.O.C policy}


    Puppy Training:
    for dogs 3 to 6 months of age; designed to give puppies a “leg up” on good behavior.

    ($60 Cape residents / $78 Non-residents)

     


    Basic Training:
    open to dogs six months and older; obedience exercises, solutions for problem behavior and basic commands. The fee includes a training lead & collar.

    ($70 Cape residents / $90 Non-residents)

     


    Advanced Training
    :for dogs who have passed basic training. The advanced class will expand on controlled walking, add distance to the stay command and include the K-9 Good Citizen test upon graduation.

    ($80 Cape residents / $105 Non-residents)

    Call 239-549-4606 for more information.

  • Watch out for these 10 common scams

    Posted Under: Crime & Safety, Shopping & Local Amenities, Market Conditions  |  March 7, 2011 4:36 AM  |  2,209 views  |  2 comments

    Written by Consumer Reports........

    Whether it’s fake checks, bogus products and services, or identity theft, it seems as if there’s always someone out there trying to make suckers out of us. In the first six months of 2010, scams reported to the fraud center at the National Consumers League cost victims an average of $810.

    It’s not always easy to spot a scam, even for savvy consumers. That’s why you should always be vigilant and take general precautions. Here are some common schemes.


    Merchandise fraud

    Say you find a really great deal on a digital camera at an online retailer. But shortly after placing your order, you get a phone call from a company representative trying to sell you extra lenses, a fancy case, and other pricey add-ons. You refuse the high-pressure sales pitch, and later you’re notified that the camera is no longer in stock. Or it never arrives.

    Nonexistent or misrepresented merchandise on the Internet was the fraud center’s top complaint in the first half of 2010, with an average loss of $931. That doesn’t include fraud involving online auctions, which ranked eighth.

    What to do

    Check out sellers you’re unfamiliar with before buying anything from them. To start, find out whether a company has a report and rating with the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org).

    If you’re victimized after paying with cash or by check, you could be out of luck. So use a credit card, especially when buying online or over the phone. If the order doesn’t arrive, you can challenge the purchase under federal credit-card rules. Debit-card purchases offer less protection, although some banks voluntarily provide additional safeguards.

    Incidentally, to reduce the risk of unauthorized charges, you might want to consider using a temporary "virtual" or "online" credit-card number, if your bank offers one, for purchases on the Web. In most cases you can request one on the issuer’s website. Citibank offers virtual-card software you can install on your computer. You can limit the time the virtual number is active and the maximum amount that can be charged.

    Fake checks

    These schemes come under many guises. Bogus checks can be used to pay for something you’re selling, such as a used car. Or someone might contact you about a "work at home" opportunity or sweepstakes that you supposedly won. He or she might use a fake check to pay you, with instructions to deposit it and then wire a portion of the proceeds to another party, perhaps to pay "required" fees or taxes. In many cases, these scams involve what appear to be certified or bank checks—but that’s no guarantee that they’re legitimate. If you deposit or cash a phony check at your bank, it will bounce and your bank will come after you to settle up.

    Fake check fraud was the National Consumers League’s top scam in 2009; it’s now No. 2, representing one in four of the complaint reports that the group receives. The trick costs victims an average of $371.

    What to do

    Before depositing a check from an unfamiliar source, check with the institution whose name appears on it. And because the bank’s contact information on the check could belong to the scammer, search for the institution’s phone number and address separately.

    Phishing, spoofing, and identity theft

    Scammers use e-mail messages, phone calls, and other ways to trick people into revealing their passwords, credit-card and Social Security numbers, and other personal information they can use to steal identities, open credit lines, and the like.

    What to do

    Don’t respond to e-mail messages or phone calls asking for your passwords or other personal information, no matter how urgent the appeal. Instead, contact your bank or other party to see if it made the request. Don’t click on hyperlinks you receive in e-mail messages, and carefully type web addresses into your browser to avoid typos. Scammers sometimes set up bogus sites using common misspellings of legitimate web addresses, a practice known as "typosquatting."

    Keep your computer’s antivirus and antiphishing software up-to-date. And consider using a browser plug-in, such the free McAfee SiteAdvisor (www.siteadvisor.com), which warns about phishing websites and those that transmit viruses.

    The grandparent scam

    This one comes as a call from a family member, perhaps someone who identifies himself as your grandson, saying he needs help. The story might be that he was in an accident or arrested while traveling outside the country and needs you to wire emergency money, often to Canada. Such calls have cost victims thousands of dollars.

    What to do

    Don’t give money to anyone without verifying his or her identity. If you get a call from a friend or relative asking for help, politely hang up and call the person’s home or cell-phone number to find out if they made the call and the emergency is real. You can also call relatives to help determine that the call is legit.

    Travel deals with catches

    These vacation offers can often be found at fairs and trade shows, or they might come in unsolicited phone calls, faxes, e-mail, or postcards. They’re often used to entice you to attend sales promotions, say, for a vacation time-share. But some are simply stand-alone offers for trips. Despite the hype, the vacations are usually anything but free or even bargain-priced.

    After attending the sales pitch, you might find that you’re ineligible for the promised trip because you didn’t comply with hidden or hard-to-understand terms and conditions. Available travel dates might be limited and accommodations awful unless you pay for upgrades.

    What to do

    Forget about this type of vacation. If a business has to offer free trips to generate interest, its products or services probably aren’t worth considering.

    Poorly disclosed extras

    After buying a product or service, you find that you’re being charged for something you never meant to order. Maybe it’s rustproofing for a new car at a dealership, or a club membership or subscription.

    Details about extras might be buried in a contract or a website’s fine print. Some companies pass credit-card information to third-parties who are ready to charge the minute customers click an "OK" button online or unknowingly give consent.

    What to do

    Read everything carefully before you sign or click. Question anything that’s unclear, and don’t proceed until you’re satisfied with the answers.

    Phony charities

    It could come as e-mail or a phone call urging you to help some cause that might be in the news or tugs at your heartstrings. Some charities are outright frauds; others do little, if anything, to help a cause.

    What to do

    Don’t respond immediately to a solicitation. Instead, check out the group with the major charity watchdogs: the American Institute of Philanthropy (www.charitywatch.org); the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance (www.give.org); and the Charity Navigator (www.charitynavigator.org). And make sure you’re dealing with the right group. Many con artists use names similar to legitimate charities. For local groups that don’t appear on watchdog reports, ask the charity for further information, or donate through a local fundraising federation, such as the United Way, that screens groups.

    If you want to help during an emergency, such as a flood or famine, stick with major established charities such as the Red Cross. Charity watchdogs often post names of legitimate groups that help victims.

    Health-products fraud

    Scammers are always ready to strike after reports of promising dietary supplements and other "medical breakthroughs" hit the news. Websites spring up overnight hawking products— berry supplements, for example—even though there’s scant evidence of their benefits. The sites might feature celebrity "experts" or phony "reader" comments. Many offer free trials in order to get your credit- or debit-card number and then enroll you in ongoing fee-based programs.

    What to do

    Buy health products only from companies you know and trust. Double-check the terms and conditions if you’re signing up for a free trial that requires you to give payment information.

    Sweepstakes scams

    Who doesn’t want to win a big prize? But if you respond to mail declaring that you’re a finalist, or even a winner, the only ones who’ll be stuffing their pockets will be the scammers who sent it to you.

    Many of these mailings or prize-related phone calls imply that buying something increases your chances of winning. In another variation, you might be told that you have to mail an advance payment to cover taxes, shipping and handling, or other incidental costs of processing or delivering your fabulous prize. Of course, you’ll get nothing in return.

    What to do

    By law, buying services or merchandise can’t increase your odds of winning a sweepstakes. Just saying no if you’re asked to respond to a prize or sweepstakes promotion will increase your odds—of not getting ripped off.

    Advance-fee loans

    This one involves companies promising to get you a loan or credit card even if you have bad credit. But after paying the required fee, you might not hear from the company again, or you might be offered a debit or stored-value card. Such offers appear in ads or on websites run by companies that engage in this type of "service." It’s illegal for a company doing business by phone to promise a loan and require a fee before it’s delivered.

    What to do

    Avoid companies that promise to get you a loan but don’t seem interested in your credit history, the Federal Trade Commission warns. And never pay an advance fee for a loan, even if it’s for "insurance," "processing," or "paperwork."
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