Public Affairs Office
1100 Cultural Park Boulevard
Cape Coral, FL 33990
(239) 242-3341


Brazen Thieves Steal Boat Lift In Broad Daylight; Attentive Neighbors Save the Day

(November 7, 2013)-  The men were arrested on charges of Grand Theft for stealing an entire boat lift in broad daylight from a SW Cape Coral home on Wednesday.

Cape Coral Police Department Patrol Units responded to 3226 SW 27th Place at around 2:38 PM.  The caller advised that there was a suspicious vehicle parked next to a vacant residence,  loading what looked to be metal into the bed of a white pickup truck. As the suspicious vehicle left the residence, the witness followed the vehicle, providing turn by turn updates to Cape Coral Police Department Communications personnel. 

The responding officer initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle for a traffic violation.  While conducting a traffic stop a second neighbor made contact with the officer and advised that his wife was currently calling in a theft from their neighbor's home. The second witness personally knew, and made contact with, the homeowner and confirmed that no construction or maintenance personnel had been authorized to be at the residence and that no one had permission to remove the lift. He was also able to confirm that the vehicle that the officer had stopped and its occupants, were the same subjects who took the boat lift.

Cape Coral Police confirmed that the property owner did not give permission for anyone to remove the lift and that he wanted to pursue charges.  Based on statements made by the suspects, the physical evidence,  and multiple eyewitness testimony, all three were placed into custody and taken to Lee County Jail.



John James Cocolis, W/M, DOB: 08-31-63, of 3434 SW 11th Ct., Cape Coral, FL.

Joseph R. Askew, W/M, DOB: 10-07-1976, of 1017 SW 32nd Ter., Cape Coral, FL

Mark Gerald Vantine, W/M, DOB: 08-15-1969, of 1229 SE 22nd Ave., Cape Coral, FL



Grand Theft (FSS 812.014 (2c2))

"This is a textbook case of partnership between the Police Department, and the citizens. Without the concerned neighbors' assistance, it is very likely that this crime would have gone undiscovered for quite sometime, allowing the suspects to get away with it. We are thankful for the attentiveness and concern shown for their neighbor by the citizens who took the time to make the call to the Cape Coral Police Department." - Det. Sergeant Dana Coston, Cape Coral Police Department Public Affairs Officer