Southwest Florida has endured a rash of bank robberies.
We have had three in Collier and south Lee counties in the five weeks.
They have all reported relatively happy endings, with suspects caught within a few hours or a few days of the crimes.
One hold-up, in North Naples, even had sort of a funny ending with the suspected thief leaving behind a photo ID in clothes shed in a nearby woods.
Still, banking officials and law enforcement officers are not laughing. They are combing through all the evidence for opportunities to avoid repeats.
That is important, we believe, because our area has been lucky. No one has been hurt.
Someone — a bank employee or customer — could be vulnerable next time, especially if weapons are involved.
The immediacy of that message is borne out by a fourth incident, the reported holdup Monday afternoon of a convenience store manager carrying a bag of money from a parked car to a bank on Naples’ Fifth Avenue South. The manager reported the masked man had a pistol.
That ought to be incentive for authorities to redouble efforts to discern what makes our area so inviting to desperate, reckless people — while such crimes are on the decline elsewhere.
And please, tell the community how we can be of assistance.