Mango thieves striking in Fort Myers
Posted: Jun 30, 2011 1:28 PM PDTUpdated: Jun 30, 2011 3:11 PM PDT
FORT MYERS -
Stealing fruit from people's yards is growing in popularity now that we're entering prime mango season. And for some homeowners, it's come to the point of posting "no trespassing" signs to keep them away.
It may be growing on private property, but some with an appetite for mangos think they are free for the picking.
Jo Tometich says about 50 of them were stolen from her tree on Kasamata Drive in Fort Myers.
"We went to dinner. I had just mowed the yard, so I know the mangos were here. And I guess they thought they were mature, but they're not," she said.
Tometich says a neighbor of hers spotted a man and two kids parked outside her house in a truck taking some of the mangos. She then shooed them away.
Tometich's tree has been picked so many times, the Lee County Sheriff's Office urged her to put up "no trespassing" signs. Thieves stole them!
"I'd rather give them to my friends and family, but not those who just come and steal it," Tometich said.
Tometich's fruit is not the only target. Around the corner on Aqua Lane – it's the same story.
"There's been one or two instances where my mom said, 'Oh my God, there's someone trying to steal our mangos again!'" homeowner Olivia Chavoen said.
Although for the Chavoen family, warning signs like Tometich's are not all that necessary.
"I guess being right on McGregor pretty much is enough to keep people out of our yard," she said.
And both say if the crooks had knocked on the door, they may have just handed over the fruit for free.
By Leigh Dana