BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. — Days after two naked college-age men and a third underwear-clad accomplice broke into her restaurant to steal burgers, Doc's Beach House waitress Nancy Sansevieri is still laughing.
Why would three naked "knuckleheads" break into a Bonita Beach eatery and only steal food as two security cameras captured their every move?
"Dumb, dumber and dumbest," Sansevieri said with a laugh Wednesday.
Three days after the naked caper heard around Southwest Florida, the bare-naked beef bandits remained on the lam. Authorities don't know if the men are tourists or residents, but are trying to uncover and bare all tips.
On Wednesday, authorities released photos — at least those that can be printed — to ask the public for help in identifying the men. The bandits robbed the restaurant at 3:06 a.m. Sunday, stealing 60 hamburgers, three pounds of bacon, three red peppers and a paddleboard.
In addition to the restaurant security footage and 200 frame-by-frame photos, the bandits left another clue: a trail of red peppers on the beach. On Sunday morning, Doc's kitchen staff found the restaurant's red peppers about 100 yards away near a beach bathhouse.
"They left a trail like Hansel and Gretel," Doc's waitress Shelly Isom said with a laugh. "One of them probably said after, 'Uh, guys, where did we leave our clothes?'"
In photos released by Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers and Bonita Jet Ski and Parasail, which partners with Doc's, the men appear athletic. Two are naked while the other is wearing white underwear. Several photos show the men looking at a security camera. At one point, one of them tries turning the camera unaware there is another camera nearby.
Two of the men appear to cover their faces and genitals after seeing the first security camera. Doc's general manager/vice president Lou Bangert jokingly said her two female waitresses want the naked bandits to return.
"These two want to meet the bandits," Bangert said about his waitresses. "Everybody wants to work the night shift now."
All joking aside, Bangert said he has never witnessed such a crime in the restaurant's 27-year history. Criminals have broken several windows to steal money from the restaurant's cash register, but no one has ever slammed through a back door completely nude looking for beef.
The men never tried to enter the main restaurant to steal money. The bandits stayed in the kitchen area, grabbing hamburgers, bacon and red peppers from three coolers. Bangert said the criminals were in and out of the kitchen in five minutes. They left a mess of food on the ground.
"When I saw the security footage, I said how is this guy not wearing any clothes?" Bangert said. "Then I said, 'Wait, it's not just one. There's three naked. That's what makes this funny."
Surveillance images of three men who broke into Doc's Beach House on Bonita Springs wearing nothing but their underwear. They stole burgers and peppers from the restaurant.(Photo: Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers)
Kevin Nobis, manager of Bonita Jetski & Parasail, posted security camera photos of the men on his company's Facebook site on Monday. As of noon Wednesday, 8,652 people had read the post.
"I laughed a little bit when I saw the pictures," Nobis said. "I'm just glad they didn't do more. Luckily, it was just minimal. I just think it was college-age kids who may have been drinking. The guys look like they are in good shape. They look like athletes. But it's hard to tell if they are tourists or locals."
The bandits exited Doc's going south toward the Collier County line. Bangert theorized the men could be staying on Barefoot Beach or they might have parked their car in a nearby parking lot.
Bangert believes the men will be caught because of the media attention.
"Somebody has to recognize them," Bangert said.