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Police: Man steals gun to teach owner a lesson

By Staff | Mar 20, 2009

A homeless man said he stole a loaded .38-caliber Smith and Wesson revolver because the owner was irresponsible for leaving it on the front lanai of his Cape Coral home, according to police reports.
Joseph Monroe Peters, 40, previously of Missouri, was booked into the Lee County Jail Wednesday on charges of burglary of a dwelling and theft between $300 and $5,000. He remained in jail Thursday evening on a combined $3,000 bond.
The victim told police that Peters swiped the revolver from his home, located in the 1900 block of Southeast 36th Street, sometime between March 3 and 7, reports state.
The two were doing boat work together, and the victim had left the gun on the front lanai of his home, he told police.
Peters reportedly said he took the gun to teach the victim a lesson, because leaving the gun in the unlocked lanai area was irresponsible.
The victim confronted Peters about the theft at an empty building on Del Prado Boulevard where Peters had been sleeping, but Peters denied stealing the gun, reports state.
Peters was later found sleeping on Fort Myers Beach by Lee County sheriff’s deputies, and detained until Cape police could take custody of him.
Peters reportedly admitted to “taking it too far” by refusing to return the weapon, and showed police where the gun was buried in a plastic bag outside a building at 1901 Del Prado Blvd.
The victim told police that he would like to press charges, and Peters was subsequently placed under arrest and taken to the Lee County Jail in apparent good health.
A current telephone number for the victim could not be found Thursday.