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LCSO captain emphasizes business security

April 26, 2017
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

If you have a local business, it only takes one burglary to potentially wipe out everything you have worked for.

That is the warning Lee County Sheriff's Office Capt. Christopher Reeves told area business people at the monthly North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce Business Leader's luncheon at Anthony's on the Green last week.

Reeves told them there is a service the LCSO offers to local businesses to help protect them. They come assess the scene, look over the locks, landscaping, and more.

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Lee County Sheriff’s Office North Division Capt. Christopher Reeves speaks during the North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce Business Leaders Luncheon last week at Anthony’s on the Green.


Michelle Sargis, a former deputy who now works as a civilian, heads that program.

Also important are the people companies hire and where they hire from. Reeves said it's a good clue whether that business is legit.

"Chances are if you hire someone off of Craig's List or a flyer hanging off a tree, chances are they aren't licensed," Reeves said. "When we have a lot of burglaries, it's because someone says they'll trim your palm tree for $10 and they walk out with $5,000 worth of TVs and jewelry afterward."

Incredibly enough, one of the biggest problems businesses can have are security cameras put in to help prevent crimes or identify criminals who commit them.

With all the advances on technology, such as HD, many of the old cameras should be upgraded for better protection. Reeves said for $500, you can upgrade to an HD system with five cameras.

"We see them and think 'We're supposed to identify that?' Some of these multi-billion dollar companies and it's a fuzzy image, like Sasquatch," Reeves said. "Nobody wants to upgrade their camera systems and that hurts us in the long run."

Smaller and newer businesses tend to have the right technologies, Reeves said.

The captain also said businesses don't have to pay extra for the services offered by the Sheriff's Office. One organization, for example, is soliciting businesses to provide services the LCSO offers for free and is marketing itself as being associated with the agency.

"Our crime prevention specialists are licensed by the Florida Attorney General. These others are not licensed and, in order to do a survey you must be licensed in all the practitioners' offices," Reeves said. "In the end, they'll try to scare you into purchasing something."

He also warned of the old IRS calling scam.

They still want you to pay "owed" taxes in the form of an i-Tunes card or a direct wire.

"Hang up immediately if you get a threatening phone call and if you do owe money, go on the IRS website and they will show you that you owe money," Reeves said. "If you don't think the call is legitimate, hang up and go to the web site and call the IRS yourself."

Reeves knows all too well what criminals can do, having been a victim of crime more than once. His father 's home was even burglarized by the same people on three occasions.

"I've had my home burglarized, my motorcycle stolen and it's a horrible feeling. You feel violated," Reeves said. "We take it very seriously."



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