Construction Vehicle Thefts
Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell has reached out to state that there have been reports of work vehicles being stolen that are then used to steal additional items, such as boats and trailers.This has happened in the El Jobean area but this is a countywide concern. Please make sure you lock your equipment and when possible, do not leave trailers or work trucks on vacant job sites.
This is also a reminder of a service offered by Charlotte County Sheriff's Office called the CAT program that helps deputies recognize vehicles that shouldn't be on the road after work hours. Below is the original news release about the program. The Charlotte DeSoto Building Industry Association (CDBIA) has CAT application forms available at their office, or you may visit the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office.
Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, Punta Gorda, Florida
News Release: Kickoff of the CAT Anti-Theft Program
Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell and his Crime Prevention Unit announce the institution of a nationwide anti-vehicle theft program known as CAT (Combat Auto Theft). CAT is a statewide program offered free to the public and designed to fight the problem of vehicle theft. This voluntary automobile decal registration program authorizes law enforcement officers to make investigative stops of registered vehicles. The program deters vehicle theft and aids in the identification and recovery of stolen/abandoned vehicles.
The "Combat Auto Theft Decal Program" is designed to assist law enforcement by identifying vehicles that are not usually driven during the early morning hours. When registering a vehicle, the owner must sign a CAT application form that gives Law Enforcement officers permission to make a vehicle stop between the hours of 1 am and 5 am for standard vehicles or between the hours of 8 pm and 5 am for commercial vehicles. This affirmation provides law enforcement with reasonable suspicion that any person found operating a participating vehicle during these hours is in possession of the vehicle without the owner's consent. In fact, it is during these morning hours that many stolen vehicles are on the road.
Vehicle owners may register their vehicles at any of the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office locations throughout the county during normal business hours. Upon registration, a decal will be affixed to the inside lower left rear window or lower left front window (only in cases where the vehicle has no rear window). It's that simple.
Remember, together we can fight crime and continue to make our county a great place to work and play!