Friday, August 31, 2007

Rising crime rate in Lehigh Acres a concern

Alert: For an update on 2010 trends and 2009 crime statistics for Lehigh Acres, please access my newest posting.

Some months back I've commented about the crime rates in Lee County going up. Specifically, I was shocked at the homicide incident where I used to work, near the Teleperformance / CallTech building in Fort Myers. The area used to be safe a few years back, but now it is a major crime spot.

Lehigh Acres, the new crime center of Lee County
Another major crime spot popping up is Lehigh Acres. Gangs have moved from the expensive Collier region and moved to Lehigh Acres. Law enforcement officials have been seeing increases in meth labs in Lehigh homes as well as increases in violent crimes.

This month alone, we've seen gunmen shoot down, Jack Abrahamsen, an innocent 64 year old man at a Chevron gas station. The gas station is located on Lee Blvd and is the busiest road in Lehigh. Despite the fact that there were probably many witnesses to the crime, the assailants managed to escape. Also last Thursday, the sheriff's office reported a crime spree of burglaries in Lehigh. Car washes, a casino, an auto body shop, and other locations have been robbed.

Dave Zangari, the owner of the auto body shop, said everyone is getting sick of the increased crime in Lehigh. "Look out because all us shop owners are looking out, and if we catch anybody on our property who's not supposed to be there, I'm afraid there's going to be a lot of problems, and it's not going to be good," said Zangari.

But its not only businesses that should be careful. Even at your house, you might get robbed. On the 15th of this month, four teens were arrested for carjacking. They attacked a man right in front of his Lehigh home. The teens were: Thayer Evans, 17, Bobby Redmon, 15, Aaron Madison, 16, and Jean Desgrottes, 16.

And that's not all...
And just in case you thought that was it...yes there's also some weird junk going on in the area. They've found a human skull in Lehigh on 14th Street West near Lee Avenue. The skull had ceramic pots with sticks pointed out. Officials have speculated it might be some sort of ritual.

Lehigh is growing, with a growing population and a healthy number of businesses. However, there is also a criminal culture brewing. The criminal activity isn't limited in adults either. It has spread to our teens in the area. When I look at racial demographics, a significant portion of the criminal activity in Lehigh Acres this month has been caused by African American youths. This is not hate speech, just facts. Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott also thought there are possible cultural factors involved, specifically highlighting violent rap lyrics.

These kids will end up behind bars if they are not taught about the basic values of life. I'm sure they all know robbing or shooting someone is not acceptable in our society. But they need to believe the reason behind why we aren't suppose to hurt other individuals. Parents need to teach them the values of life, that all human beings were created in the image of God. We need to teach them that they are not animals with no purpose like what textbooks are telling them.

As for rap music, even if we could even ban all the violent lyrics and violent video games in the world, the fact of the matter is, these youths will choose a lifestyle that they are used to. The parents need to step up and offer more choices than the life of crime. Bring them to church and have them respect life, give them hobbies and career-based interests that give them hope, and spend time with them so they respect you.

My two cents worth...


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this blog. My father is Jack Abrahamsen. He has since moved back to Monmouth County NJ. New Jersey people...from Florida. You have an issue down there when someone moves up north to stay safe. Don't let the palm trees blind you.

Anonymous said...

Let's get something organized and take back our neighborhood! It's going to take community involvement. The Sheriff's dept. is stretched thin, and has little power over these juvenile criminals. They can't keep them in jail. The laws are working for the criminals! Thank you ACLU! I would welcome a town hall meeting to organize a citizen's group. LET'S DO IT!

Anonymous said...

I sure was cosidering buying a property in Lehigh Acres, give me the best advice. I am a black, family man and the kind of person that does not keep or carry any form of weapon. I am hearing these crimes, I see the beauty of the place. Please give me an informed advice of what is really going on, and what should one do.

Publisher said...

Take back the neighborhood. The reality is Lehigh is huge and there's not enough sheriff dept coverage -- citizens like in the past must step up and volunteer to watch their neighborhoods.


Jun Chen said...


I am a Chinese American and considering to invest a property in Lehigh Acres...

Over 2 years, things are getting better or worse?

Anonymous said...

We are from the north and have been looking at buying a second home in Lehigh Acres,but with all of this bad press,we have second thoughts. We see the area as a family area with alot room to grow. DON"T LET IT GO TO THE GANGS.