On Thursday, Sanibel Police Department has arrested two 19 year old males, with Fort Myers addresses, for home burglary and larceny.
The arrests were made after an anonymous tip was reported to the Sanibel Police Department. An investigation revealed the defendants burglarized a home that was being remodeled.
"Homeowners can help curb this criminal activity by following some basic guidelines for hiring contractors and securing their valuables," Chief of Police Bill Tomlinson said.
The police recommend every Sanibel resident follow these steps when renovating your home:
If you are to be away from your residence for any length of time, remove or secure your personal property and valuables.
Write down all serial numbers from all major appliances and electronics.
Photograph or video all valuable property.
Visit the job site often and unannounced and check your valuables while there.
Keep a log of who has keys to the residence.
Tell neighbors about your project, and ask them to "keep an eye out" for any suspicious activity. If there are people or vehicles there after hours, call the police.
Only hire licensed contractors.
Ask what type of license they have. The license should be issued from the City of Sanibel or the State Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
Ask to see a copy of their license. To lawfully engage in contracting, a contractor must be State Certified, State Registered or Locally Licensed and have the card on their person.
Ask for a copy of their liability and workman's compensation insurance.
Early Warning Signs of an Unlicensed Contractor
A large down payment is requested before work begins.
Many requests for money during early phases of construction.
The homeowner is asked to obtain the permit.
Verbal contract only, the person is not willing to put all terms in writing.
The contractor does not have proof of insurance.
The contractor informs the homeowner that the job does not require a permit or inspection. To verify, call the City of Sanibel Building Department at 472-4555.
The contractor is only willing to work on weekends or after hours.
Contractor displays only an occupational license. (An occupational license is not a license to perform construction work).
The homeowner is asked to make a check payable to an individual when the contract is with a company, to make checks payable to or in cash.
Advertisements where only the telephone number appears and there is not a business address or license number.
License numbers are not on the vehicle, business cards, contracts, newspapers or yellow page advertisements.
Any time you observe suspicious activity at your home or your neighbor's home, immediately contact the Sanibel Police Department at 472-3111.
Source: City of Sanibel