Bonita Bay community board won’t share video of burglar entering home

Article 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 community.

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.”