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Two vehicles stolen in Cape used in attempted home burglary in Bonita Springs

By Staff | Jun 28, 2011

Two vehicles reported stolen out of Cape Coral were used in an attempted home burglary Monday afternoon, according to local law enforcement.
At about 11 a.m., the Lee County Sheriff’s Office received a call about an occupied burglary in progress at a home at 25357 Busy Bee Drive in Bonita Springs. Three children, ages 10-17, were in the home during the incident.
The children hid in a closet and contacted their father, who drove home.
When the father arrived, he observed two men attempting to flee from the driveway in a white Mercedes, according to officials. The Mercedes and the father’s car collided, and one of the men displayed a firearm at the father.
The Mercedes, along with a white van, sped away from the home.
As deputies were responding to the residence, they received information from a second caller that included descriptions of the Mercedes and the van. Deputies then encountered a Chevrolet Astrovan in the area that sped away when they tried to conduct a traffic stop, officials reported.
The deputies pursued the van northbound on U.S. 41, where they eventually stopped the Astrovan. The driver, Gary Gaskin, 22, of Fort Myers, was taken into custody. Deputies confirmed that the van was stolen out of Cape Coral.
At about 11:30 a.m., the LCSO received a report about a white Mercedes that had been abandoned in a turn lane at Metro Parkway and Idlewild Street in Fort Myers. The Mercedes also had been reported stolen out of the Cape.
Witnesses told deputies that two men exited the vehicle and ran to an awaiting silver Hyundai, driven by a third man. Moments later, a crash was reported involving the vehicle at the intersection of Plantation Road and Colonial Boulevard, according to officials.
Despite heavy damage, the Hyundai had continued traveling east on Colonial until it was dumped behind a bank in the 4300 block. All three of the vehicle’s occupants were reportedly seen running into a nearby wooded area.
A search was conducted without any success, officials reported.
Anyone who knows the whereabouts of the three men, or has information about the crimes, can contact the Lee County Sheriff’s Office at 477-1000. To remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward, contact Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at (800) 780-TIPS (8477).
Anonymous tips may also be made online at: www.swflcrimestoppers.org, through the TipSubmit application on any iPhone or by texting “REWARD” to CRIMES (274637).