Police: man burglarizes Cape homes to decorate his own; caught by neighbor of vacant home
A Cape Coral man arrested after a neighbor reportedly caught him stealing from a vacant home told police he had burglarized between six and 11 homes since he became a resident this month to keep up the appearance of his home, officials said Monday.
Stephen Clifford Proctor, 46, has been arrested in connection with the May 11 burglary of a vacant home on Southwest 36th Terrace.
He could not provide the addresses of any previous burglaries, police said, and he has not been charged in any other incidents.
Proctor’s arrest came after a neighbor spotted him entering the home with his two pet dogs and stealing items, city spokesperson Connie Barron said in a written release this morning.
The told investigators she saw Proctor taking several items from the home, located in the 1200 block of S.W. 36th Terrace, including a hose caddy and several other small items.
She reportedly followed Proctor to another vacant home in the neighborhood, where she confronted him.
“She took photos of the vehicle, a red Jeep Cherokee, and noted the Georgia license plate number,” Barron wrote in Monday’s release.
When Cape police ran the tags, they discovered the number was not registered to anyone, but also noted that the same vehicle had been involved in a “burglary in progress” last December.
Cape officer Mark Bowman spotted the Jeep parked at Proctor’s home at 931 S.W. 36th Street Thursday. Officers with Platoon 4 and the Street Crimes Unit maintained surveillance on the Jeep.
On Friday, detectives Jason Hicks and Nick Jones met with Proctor, who reportedly admitted to the burglary and between five and 10 others.
Proctor was charged with unarmed burglary of an unoccupied dwelling and petit larceny. He posted $5,500 bond and was released Friday afternoon, according to Lee County Jail records.