Bonita Springs man charged with burglarizing occupied apartment at East Naples assisted living complex
This is a six-month review of the most-read crime stories in Collier County on naplesnews.com from September 2018 to February 2019. Vonna Keomanyvong, email@example.com; 239-213-5380
A Bonita Springs man was arrested Wednesday on charges of burglarizing an apartment with a resident inside at an assisted living complex in East Naples in early February, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office reported.
Joan Urton, 79, was alone inside her apartment at Barrington Terrace of Naples on the morning of Feb. 4 when a man she didn't know entered her apartment through the unlocked front door and locked the door behind him, according to the sheriff’s office.
Urton, who is in poor health and uses a walker, was told by the man that he was there to move her belongings out of her apartment and to another location, according to CCSO.
The man, identified as Wesley Wells, 26, told Urton she would like the new place and tapped her on the shoulder when she began crying because she didn’t want to move, according to the sheriff’s office.
Urton secretly pushed the call button on her necklace to alert the front desk for help, but no one came because she failed to properly push the button, according to CCSO.
Urton was scared Wells would see further attempts to push the button for help and she complied with all of his requests because she was scared he had a gun or knife, according to the sheriff’s office.
Wells took between $300 and $500 in cash from Urton’s dresser and lock box, then forced her to give him two rings she was wearing that were valued at $500 each, according to CCSO.
Wells searched Urton’s purse and found her checkbook, according to the sheriff’s office, then handed it to Urton and instructed her to write a check for $1,000 for cash and write “for moving expenses” in the memo section.
At 9:30 a.m., after spending about 20 minutes in Urton’s apartment, Wells left with the stolen items.
Urton notified the Barrington Terrace front desk and called her adult son for help. She told investigators she was scared she was going to have a heart attack during the burglary, according to CCSO.
Video surveillance from several cameras inside the apartment building led investigators to identify Wells as the suspect in the burglary.
Wells was arrested during a traffic stop at Airport-Pulling and Radio roads Wednesday, according to CCSO.
He was charged with unarmed burglary of an occupied dwelling, burglary with assault or battery, battery on a person 65 years of age or older, and grand theft between $300 and $5,000.
The arrest report said Wells had no relatives at the assisted living facility nor any other known connection to it.
Wells is a Florida convicted felon and previously spent time in the Department of Corrections for burglary, grand theft and trafficking in stolen property, according to CCSO.
He was released from prison in December 2017 and currently has a pending case with charges of burglary and grand theft in Lee County related to an arrest on Oct. 4, 2018.
Wells was out of jail on a $25,000 bond on the Lee County charges when he was arrested Wednesday.
Wells is being held at the Naples Jail Center.