and Video Courtesy of WINK NEWS
By Brooke Shafer
Published January 27, 2020
Surveillance video caught a burglar breaking into a
Bonita Bay home last month, where he stole hundreds in cash. But, the
victim says the homeowners association will not release the video to his
neighbors. Right now, the burglar is still on the loose.
Homeowner Roger Brookes calls a surveillance video
unnerving. A man crawls through bushes, before making his way up to a
quiet Bonita Bay home. The person goes across the front porch, through
the laundry room door and inside the house.
Brooks said it happened within 54 seconds. Within that time, Brooks told
investigators, the burglar took off with about $600 in cash. That
break-in occurred just before Christmas in the gated Bonita Bay
According to Brooks, detectives told him the burglar might be from
Bonita Bay or at least had access to the gated neighborhood.
“That’s the frustrating part of it,” Brooks said. “If indeed the
individual was from the Bonita Bay community, I think we should get the
information out to the residents and see what happens.”
But, Brooks claims getting the video out is proving to be harder than he
thought. After multiple requests, the board president of Bonita Bay told
Brooks by email, they would not be releasing the surveillance video to
people in Bonita Bay.
Board President Henry Gempeler, in an email to the victim that was
forwarded to WINK News, said:
“After consultation with our legal counsel the Board has decided not to
broadcast the video. It is our practice that criminal investigations and
the distribution of video and pictures should be left to the trained law
enforcement professionals using their traditional methods of doing so.”
Brooks disagreed with the actions, saying releasing the security video
could portray Bonita Bay “as being proactive in its security.”
Frustrated, Brooks turned to WINK News, hoping to get as many eyes on
the video to help track down the guy who broke into his home before he
commits another unnerving crime.
“There’s 7,000 residents in Bonita Bay,” Brooks said. “If it was
somebody who was here either visiting family members over the holidays
or if it was a resident of Bonita Bay, somebody probably saw him.
“And we can take action at that point,” he added. “All the sheriff’s
department is looking for is a tip.”