The population in Southwest Florida continues to grow, as does the rental market.  Southwest Florida appears to be in high demand and, as a result, prices for rental properties have risen considerably.

Out-of-state residents search the internet for affordable housing in our region and a sizeable number of Lee County residents appear to be searching for more affordable rental options.

Finding affordable housing is often a difficult task…and the scammers know it.

When searching for rental properties, be alert to ads listing a price significantly lower than that of similar properties.

Renters should not sign any document prior to inspecting the property…both inside and out.  Renters have been scammed when attempting to rent properties that don’t exist or are not for rent.

Verify ownership using the Lee County Property Appraiser’s website and ensure that you are dealing with the owner or an authorized representative.

Never wire money as a deposit or payment for the first and last month’s rent…especially without a signed and verified lease. 

Requests to wire money overseas or to send gift cards as a form of deposit should never be considered.

Additionally, don’t allow your online property search to result in identity theft.  Do not share your personal information without verifying the identity of the party that you are dealing with.  Be careful.  Hackers can easily change the contact information in an existing online ad…making it seem reputable.

The FTC has a very helpful hotline…1-877-FTC-HELP.  Don’t hesitate to use it when concerned or scammed.



Regrettably, the United States and nearby nations are struggling with catastrophic fires, earthquakes and illness.  Twelve U.S. states are battling 104 large fires that have already burned 2.4 million acres.

A 7.2 magnitude earthquake has taken the lives of thousands of our neighbors in Haiti and well over one million island residents are struggling with injuries, homelessness, food shortages and so much more.

So many have suffered losses as a result of the pandemic that continues to devastate Florida and the nation.

During these difficult times, reputable and remarkable agencies escalate their efforts to provide assistance to those in need.

Sadly, scammers and fraudsters recognize that generous, caring people can be fooled and cheated out of their hard-earned money in the name of “charity.”

Scammers utilize phone contact, text messages and social media posts, all claiming to provide critical aid to those in need, only to steal the donations that they collect.

Never feel pressured to make immediate decisions regarding charitable donations. 

The reputable agencies are happy to have you investigate their efforts online and/or to verify their authenticity through sites such as the I.R.S. database of charities (, Charity Navigator ( or Guide Star (

Never send gift cards, cryptocurrency or cash in response to phone, text or online solicitations…NEVER!

Never provide personal, banking or identifying information unless you are absolutely certain that you know the agency or individual that you are dealing with!

Lastly, visit ( to review evaluations of the charity to which you are considering making a donation.

North Fort Myers Man Arrested for Animal Cruelty

North Fort Myers Man Arrested for Animal Cruelty

“This criminal’s actions are outrageous,” stated Sheriff Carmine Marceno. “The violence toward this defenseless dog will not be tolerated. Residents and their families, including pets, will be safe here… and my team will see to it.” 

Detectives with North District Criminal Investigations Division and the Animal Cruelty Task Force responded to McDaniel Drive in North Fort Myers in reference to a canine being shot in the snout. 

Detectives learned that Anthony Hallmon (DOB 05-18-1987) entered a home uninvited and fired a projectile at a canine that is accused of biting him. 

The canine is a brown and white male Pitbull named Safari who was found with a small hole in his snout. He was taken to Domestic Animal Services where he is being treated for his injuries. Thankfully, Safari is expected to survive and make a full recovery. 

Hallmon was later taken into custody, and while doing so, detectives found Fentanyl in his possession. 

Detectives ultimately charged Anthony Hallmon with Animal Cruelty, Burglary with Assault, and Possession of a Controlled Substance without a Prescription.

Lee County Sheriff’s Office donates $30K to support the Tommy Bohanon Foundation scholarship fund

Lee County Sheriff’s Office donates $30K to support the Tommy Bohanon Foundation scholarship fund

Thanks to the continued support of Sheriff Carmine Marceno and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, the Tommy Bohanon Foundation can continue to fulfill its mission of supporting young athletes on and off the playing field.

Every year, the foundation sets its sights on something even bigger than the year before, and as a result, the Tommy Bohanon Foundation will award $10,000 scholarships to three high school seniors in Southwest Florida this year. The scholarships will allow these students to pursue continued education without financial restraint.

“These scholarships open up the future for the youth in our community,” said former NFL player Tommy Bohanon, founder of the Tommy Bohanon Foundation.

“Our goal is, and always has been, to motivate students to pursue education beyond high school. Financial stress can deter students from even having college or trade school on their radar. Every kid deserves to go after their dreams without any hesitation and our hope is that these scholarships will do just that.”

Since 2018, Sheriff Marceno and the LCSO have been instrumental partners of the Tommy Bohanon Foundation. Last year, the LCSO’s contributions made it possible for the foundation to offer two $10,000 scholarships. This year’s donation of $30,000 paved the way for the Tommy Bohanon Foundation to support the continued education of three Southwest Florida students.

“This contribution allows us to change the lives of the youth in our community,” said Sheriff Marceno.

“Every student deserves the opportunity to pursue higher education and to fulfill their dreams. We are proud to support the Tommy Bohanon Foundation and their mission to make a positive impact in our community.”

The Tommy Bohanon Foundation has partnered with the Collaboratory to assist with the scholarship application and selection process. Students are able to complete a single application through the Collaboratory that will match them with the scholarship funds that they are eligible for.

The Tommy Bohanon Foundation Scholarship Fund requires that students have an athletic interest and plans to pursue higher education. Eligible students will participate in an interview process before the final selection is completed by the foundation.

To learn more about the Tommy Bohanon Foundation, visit or contact Katie Bohanon at 239-671-0441 or



Ongoing nationwide studies, for decades, have indicated that the “After-school Gap,” a period of approximately 20 to 25 hours each school week when children are out of school and parents are at work, is the time when a significant number of juvenile crimes are committed in most, if not all, communities.

During the summer months, when school is out, delinquent behavior reaches its yearly peak.  Juveniles tend to stay out later in the evening…sometimes into the early morning hours…when the following day is a non-school day.

On June 17th, Lee County Schools dismissed their students for the summer.  While the vast majority of children are involved in productive, harmless and lawful activities, a small percentage of these juveniles will use this time to engage in unlawful behaviors.

Crimes of opportunity involving unlocked vehicles tend to increase in volume during these summer months.  Juveniles often travel in groups or packs, roaming streets and communities, testing door handles on cars, trucks and recreational vehicles.  A number of commercial vehicles have been targeted, of late, and valuable tools and equipment have been removed.

Sheriff Carmine Marceno urges Lee County residents to diligently ensure that all vehicle doors are locked…that all valuables and firearms are removed and brought indoors during the overnight hours…and that neighbors look after one another’s homes and property.

All suspicious activity should be reported.  Individuals roaming your neighborhood streets during the evening hours, lights and noises in and around construction areas after dark, slow-moving cars that appear to be involved in illegal activity, vehicles in driveways of unoccupied homes, etc., should be reported to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office or to your local law enforcement agency.

Your concern and willingness to help keep your community safe will make a significant difference!  See something, say something…make the call!

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