The sharing of intelligence information on recent cases may have formed a link between two recent crimes and now Crime Stoppers is asking for the public's help putting names with the faces. Surveillance photos from a business burglary in Tice, and a home invasion robbery in Cape Coral, show distinct similarities in looks and mannerisms of the men involved with both crimes, officials said.
The first crime was an early morning break-in on May 9 at the Tinda Cultural De Guatemala at 4515 Palm Beach Boulevard, Fort Myers. Security cameras both inside and outside the business captured images of two men entering the business through the roof, then methodically rummaging through the business, hitting the register drawer, and removing cash while carefully wiping any handprints off the counter. The thieves left with an undisclosed amount of cash, as well as a DVD player and several other items. Still shots from the surveillance cameras perched outside the business show a very clear picture of one of the suspects, officials said.
Three weeks later on May 30 in Cape Coral, two men robbed a Cape Coral home at 702 SW 11th Street. The resident reported that she opened the front door after someone rang the doorbell in the early afternoon hours. Upon opening the door, the resident observed a black male, dressed in a suit, holding a briefcase and armed with a handgun. The suspect forced his way into the house, followed by a second man, who held a second victim to the ground at gunpoint. Seconds later, the suspects fled the scene, but not before home surveillance cameras snapped clear shots of the suspects, officials said.
Detectives with the Lee County Sheriff's Office and the Cape Coral Police Department believe the suspects in both of these cases are the same men. The men in both instances seem well versed in the ways of crime and one suspect even appears to possibly be wearing the same purple shirt during both crimes.
"Criminals don't know boundaries, and certainly don't confine themselves to exclusive areas or communities," said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator in a prepared statement. "This is a great example of how information sharing amongst law enforcement agencies can link multiple cases by working together."
Anyone with information on either, or both, of these unsolved crimes, or the men involved in them, is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477). All callers will remain anonymous and will be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000. Tips may also be made online at www.swflcrimestoppers.org or by texting a tip to CRIMES (274637) Keyword: REWARD.
Source: Crime Stoppers Coordinator