If you have any information about these crimes or any person(s) involved, you are urged to call SWFL Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477) or click the Submit a Tip button, at the top of this page, to anonymously provide information.  We want your information, not your name!  We will pay a cash reward of up to $3,000 if your tip leads to an arrest.

 
 
 

UPDATE #1 - Suspect sought in stranger danger incident
June 03, 2020

STATUS: OPEN
 
** UPDATE #1**
 
A composite sketch of the man suspected in Saturday's stranger danger case in Cape Coral has been released in hopes of securing a name. Residents are asked to take a close look at the sketch and contact Crime Stoppers with any information on his identity and possible whereabouts. Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477) or at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com.
 

 
ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE:  MAY 31, 2020
 
Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public's help identifying and tracking down a middle aged man who tried to lure a juvenile female into his car late yesterday afternoon.
 
The victim was walking home from the Wal Mart store on Skyline Boulevard in Cape Coral on Saturday, May 30 around 4:50 p.m. when a unidentified black male pulled up next to the victim. He said she was beautiful and that she should get in the back seat of his car. An alert neighbor witnessed the incident and intervened to protect the girl, which caused the suspect to flee the area.
 
The suspect is described as being in his 50s, bald, with a grey stubble beard and a Jamaican accent. He was driving a grey Honda Odyssey that had a pink Auto Nation plate frame. Anyone with any information on this incident, the driver or the suspect vehicle 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 $3,000. Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or on the P3Tips mobile app.
 
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Information still needed in fatal hit and run
April 27, 2020

STATUS: OPEN

 

Crime Stoppers is still asking for the public's help generating any leads in a hit and run crash that took the life of a Fort Myers man in January.

55 year old James Flesher was riding his bicycle on the paved shoulder of US 41 near Page Field around 4:30 a.m. on January 13th, which is a path he was familiar with and rode nearly every day. A driver headed northbound struck Flesher, however continued on, never stopping to render aid. Flesher was transported to Lee Memorial Hospital, where he later passed away.

Anyone who may have been in the area of US 41 near Page Field that morning, or who may have heard any information about the identity of the driver in the subsequent weeks and months, 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 $3,000. Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or on the P3Tips mobile app.

 

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Tips needed to track down puppy killer
April 23, 2020

STATUS: OPEN
 
Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public's help tracking down the person responsible for abusing an eight week old puppy and tossing its dead body in a dumpster.
 
On Wednesday, April 22nd, a passer-by found the tiny mixed breed Chihuahua in a dumpster at the Brittany Apartment complex, located at 4050 Winkler Avenue.  Detectives with the Lee County Sheriff's Office, along with Animal Control, immediately responded and removed the female puppy from the scene. A necropsy revealed multiple signs of abuse that led to her death.
 
Late yesterday afternoon, and into the evening, investigators canvassed more than 300 apartments located within the complex to generate any leads, however the only information gleaned was that a witness had seen two similar looking puppies a few days prior. Now, Crime Stoppers is asking for the assistance of the public and local veterinary clinics, to help identify who owned the puppy and ultimately, whose violent actions led to her death. Flyers are also being distributed to residents in the area of the Brittany Apartments.
 
"Someone with the capacity to beat a tiny, defenseless puppy and discard its body in a dumpster like a piece of trash should not be walking our streets as a free person," said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator. "We are hopeful that someone saw something and will come forward so that detectives can ensure that justice is served and that this person is not able to injure another animal again."
 
Anyone with information on the owner of the puppy, or the person responsible for her death, 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 $3,000. Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or by submitting a tip on the P3Tips mobile app.
 
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Search is on for early morning Lehigh armed robber
April 21, 2020

STATUS: WANTED
 
Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public's help identifying and tracking down an armed suspect who robbed a Lehigh Acres convenience store early this morning.
 
The suspect entered the 7-Eleven store, located at 4325 Lee Boulevard, just after 4:30 a.m., brandishing a semi-automatic handgun. After firing several shots, he demanded all the cash from the register. The clerk complied and handed over an undisclosed amount of cash, after which the suspect took off on foot southbound towards Gunnery Road. No injuries were reported.
 
The suspect is described as a black male, between 20 and 30 years old, approximately 5'10" with shoulder length dreads with blonde tips and shells at the end. He was last seen wearing a black long sleeved shirt, khaki pants and a black facemask. Anyone with information on the identity and whereabouts of this suspect, who should be considered armed and dangerous, 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 $3,000. Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or on the P3Tips mobile app.
 
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UPDATE #2 - Armed suspect at large after early morning attempted robbery
April 20, 2020

STATUS: OPEN
 
** UPDATE #2 **
 
Video of the attack from yesterday morning’s attempted robbery at the 7-Eleven on S. Cleveland Avenue.
 
Anyone with information on the identity and whereabouts of the suspect 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 $3,000. Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or on the P3Tips mobile app.
 
 
 

 
** UPDATE #1  - 4/19/2020 **
 
**ADDITIONAL PHOTO**
 
Updated photo of the suspect leaving the store. It is believed that he fled towards the Pine Manor area.
 


 
ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE:  APRIL 19, 2020
Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public's help identifying and tracking down a suspect who held up a South Fort Myers convenience store early this morning.
 
Just after 1 a.m., the suspect walked into the 7-Eleven convenience store, located at 11700 S. Cleveland Avenue. Armed with a metal pipe, the man approached the store clerk and demanded all the cash in the register. After being struck once by the suspect, the clerk came around the counter and chased the man out of the store, who left without any money.
 
The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, between 5'5" and 5'7", with a husky build and a tattoo on the side of his neck. Anyone with information on the identity and whereabouts of the suspect 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 $3,000. Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or by submitting a tip on the P3Tips mobile app.
 
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Crime Stoppers 10 Most Wanted felon busted in Tampa
April 16, 2020

STATUS: IN CUSTODY
 
One of Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers 10 Most Wanted fugitives, who had been evading arrest for several weeks, was located and arrested early this morning.

Eliseo Mata (DOB 10/18/89) had been on the run since March 10th on charges relating to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, the possession of a firearm with an altered serial number and grand theft auto. Members of the Lee County Sheriff's Office's Fugitive Warrants Unit, with the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Warrants Task Force, immediately began the search for Mata in the Bonita Springs area. Following a thorough investigation, it was determined that Mata was hiding out in a duplex in the Tampa area. Working in tandem with the U.S. Marshals Tampa Task Force, Mata was located at a duplex early this morning and taken into custody without incident.
 
Crime Stoppers placed Mata on its 10 Most Wanted list on March 16th. He is a registered convicted felon with a lengthy criminal history, starting at age 13 when he was busted for burglary. To date, he's been jailed for crimes including armed robbery, the sale of cocaine, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and DUI, among others. He's also been sent to state prison four times for robbery and drug related charges.
 
"Eliseo Mata's arrest this morning is a testament to the fact that if you commit violent crimes in our community, law enforcement will not rest until justice is served," said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator. "We may be in the midst of a pandemic, but rest assured that members of the Fugitive Warrants Unit and the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Warrants Task Force are working day and night to keep our community safe from perpetrators like Mata."
 
Mata will be extradited back to Lee County at some point in the near future.
 
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Suspect sought after two overnight robberies
April 16, 2020

STATUS: OPEN
 
Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public's help tracking down a man who robbed two North Fort Myers convenience stores overnight.
 
The first incident occurred at 11:27 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15th at the 7-Eleven store located at 15999 N. Cleveland Avenue. A store clerk said the young man entered the store wearing a bandana over his face when he approached the counter. He pointed a small caliber silver semi-automatic pistol at the clerk and demanded all the cash in the register. After being given an undisclosed amount of cash, the suspect fled in a silver four-door sedan, headed westbound on Littleton Road.
 
Roughly a half hour later, at 12:01 a.m., the same suspect walked into the Circle K, located at 4600 Bayline Drive. After briefly browsing through the store, he approached the check-out counter and pointed a gun at the clerk, again demanding all the money in the register. In fear for her life, the clerk complied, after which the suspect fled eastbound on foot.
 
The suspect is described as 5'5", fair skinned, with dark eyes, approximately 150 pounds, and likely in his mid to late 20s.
 
Anyone with information on the identity and whereabouts of the suspect 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 $3,000. Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or by submitting a tip on the P3Tips mobile app.
 
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Tips sought in search for missing Bokeelia man
April 07, 2020

STATUS: OPEN
 
Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public's help in trying to retrace the steps of a Bokeelia man who went missing more than a year ago.
 
Milton Crocker (DOB 8/18/51) was reported missing by a long-time friend on January 4, 2019. The friend stated that he hadn't seen Crocker for a few weeks but that earlier that day, Crocker left a letter in his mailbox with instructions on how to handle his personal affairs, as well as a few hundred dollars cash, some lottery tickets and the keys to Crocker's 2006 Chevrolet pick-up. Concerned for his safety, the friend immediately went to Crocker's home, however the only thing he found was Crocker's abandoned cell phone.
 
In the days that followed, multiple neighborhood canvasses took place near Crocker's Thomas Street home on Bokeelia, as well as around several popular locations on the island, to no avail. On March 30, 2019, a more extensive search was conducted in and around Pine Island by the Sarasota Search and Rescue Team, however those efforts also yielded negative results.
 
Although Crocker has been in the national missing persons database since February 2019, there have been no financial or travel alerts on Crocker at all. In hopes of finding him, or being able to provide answers to his family, detectives are hopeful that anyone who knew Crocker and have seen him or heard from him at any point in the last year will share what they know. Anyone with information on the disappearance or whereabouts of Milton Crocker 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 $3,000. Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or by submitting a tip on the P3Tips mobile app.
 
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UPDATE #2 - Information still sought in Charlotte death investigation
March 15, 2020

STATUS: OPEN

 

** UPDATE #2 **

 

As the one year anniversary of the death investigation of Port Charlotte teen Gage Jackson approaches, an anonymous donor has increased the reward for information leading to an arrest in this case to $50,000.

 

This amount is in addition to the $3,000  being offered by Crime Stoppers. Flyers announcing the increased reward, and necessity for tips, will also be distributed in an upcoming edition of the Charlotte Sun.

 

"We are very confident that there are people in our community who know exactly what happened to Gage, and who is responsible for his death," said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator. "If you happen to be someone who has information that can provide answers in this case, we need to hear from you. Although it's been almost a year since this happened, it's never to late to step up and do the right thing."

 

Anyone with information on the death investigation of Gage Jackson 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 $50,000 from the anonymous donor and up to $3,000 from Crime Stoppers. Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or by submitting a tip through the P3 Tips mobile app.

 


 

** UPDATE #1  - 10/4/19 **

 

 

In hopes of securing new leads in the death investigation of 19 year old Gage Jackson, the reward for information leading to a conclusion of this case has now been increased to $28,000.

 

An anonymous donor has added to the previous reward fund with the goal of encouraging someone in the know, who has not yet shared their information with law enforcement, to come forward anonymously.  The unnamed donor is offering a $25,000 reward, and Crime Stoppers is offering a $3,000 reward.  Flyers announcing the increased reward, and the necessity for tips, are also being distributed in today’s edition of the Charlotte Sun.

 

Anyone with information on the death investigation of Gage Jackson 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 $25,000 from the anonymous donor and $3,000 from Crime Stoppers.  Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or by submitting a tip through the P3Tips mobile app.

 


ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE:  JUNE 29, 2019

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help piecing together information on the death of a 19 year old Punta Gorda man who was found floating in a creek three months ago.

Gage Jackson was last seen in the area of Washington Loop Road in Punta Gorda on the evening of March 19th, around 11 p.m.  Eleven days later, a boater spotted a body just south of the Prairie Creek Bridge; that body was identified shortly after as Gage Jackson.

In the three months since Gage’s body was found, detectives have been working to determine how he died and what circumstances surrounded his death.  Gage was an avid outdoors-man, who spent much of his time hunting and fishing.  He was skilled at maneuvering the elements of the woods and was very familiar with the local terrain.  At this point, an anonymous donor is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for any information that can help detectives come to a final resolution on how Gage died and how his body ended up in a waterway.

Anyone with information on Gage’s death, or any circumstances leading up to his death, is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477).  All callers will remain anonymous and will be eligible for that special reward of up to $10,000.  Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or by submitting a tip on the P3Tips mobile app.

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Hit and run driver sought in Lehigh
March 06, 2020

STATUS: OPEN
 
Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public's help tracking down the driver responsible for a hit and run crash in Lehigh Acres last night.
 
Shortly after 10 p.m. on Thursday, March 5, the driver of a dark colored SUV ran the stop sign at Sunniland Blvd. and W. 12th Street, striking the side of a vehicle that just entered the intersection. Rather than remain at the scene, as required by law, the driver chose to flee.  Witnesses saw the vehicle head towards Gunnery Road, however it is unknown where the driver went from there.  The suspect vehicle may have been a Dodge, and likely sustained front end damage.  The victim in the crash sustained injuries which were not life threatening.
 
Anyone with information on the identity of the driver or the whereabouts of the vehicle involved 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 $3,000.  Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or by submitting a tip on the P3Tips mobile app.
 


Reward increased in 2002 cold case
February 24, 2020

STATUS: OPEN
The 2002 homicide of Christina Wilson is being given new attention, with an increased reward for information leading to the arrest of her killer.
 
Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers has teamed up with the Florida Sheriff's Association's (FSA) to increase the reward in Christina's case to $8,000. The initial $3,000 will come from Crime Stoppers coffers, while the additional $5,000 is being offered through the FSA's Criminal Apprehension Assistance Program. The FSA established this initiative to assist Crime Stoppers programs with securing new leads on cases that are still awaiting resolution.
 
Christina's case dates back to June 21, 2002, when a missing persons report for the 20 year old Lee County woman was filed. She was last been seen in the Page Park subdivision of Fort Myers. Two days later, on June 23, 2002, Christina's body was found at Hunter's Park, located in the Pine Manor community. Leads in Christina's case have gone cold over the last 17 years, however Crime Stoppers, the Lee County Sheriff's Office and the Florida Sheriff's Association is hopeful that the infusion of additional reward money will encourage people with information on her homicide to finally come forward and anonymously share what they know.
 
"Despite the time that has passed, it is never too late to do the right thing and come forward," said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator. "People change, relationships change and hopefully the offering of more reward money will motivate people in the know to help provide justice for Christina all these years later."
 
Anyone with information on the murder of Christina Wilson 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 $3,000 from Crime Stoppers and $5,000 from the Florida Sheriff's Association. Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or on the P3Tips mobile app.
 
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UPDATE - Murder suspect added to 10 Most Wanted list
February 24, 2020

STATUS: IN CUSTODY
 
** UPDATE #1 **
 
The man who had been evading authorities for the last three weeks on a second degree murder warrant is now in custody.
 
On Friday, February 21st, Raymond Gomez was taken into custody in Texas on Lee County's warrant for the murder of Sarah Nicholson. Gomez's arrest was a multi-agency effort involving the North Texas Fugitive Task Force, Lubbock County SWAT, as well as members of the Buffalo Springs Lake Police Department. Gomez is currently awaiting extradition back to Lee County. No date has been set for his transfer.
 
Gomez was added to Crime Stoppers 10 Most Wanted list earlier this month. His arrest on Friday creates a vacancy which is being filled today by Nicholas Lacombe (DOB 5/3/89), who is wanted in connection with the lewd and lascivious molestation of two young children in 2010. 
 

ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE:  02/04/2020
 
 
Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public's help tracking down a man accused of murdering a Bonita Springs woman in August of 2017.
 
A warrant for the arrest of Raymond Rey Gomez (DOB 6/22/00) has been issued in connection with the murder of Sarah Nicholson.  Deputies initially responded to a fire at Nicholson's home on Squire Lane in Bonita in the early morning hours of October 29, 2017. Firefighters found Nicholson's body inside the home, the apparent victim of a homicide. Nearly nine months later, deputies arrested Cristian Dilan (DOB 1/29/98) for his role in the homicide, charging him with burglary, armed robbery, grand theft auto, evidence tampering and accessory after the fact to second degree murder.  He still remains in the Lee County Jail on those charges.
 
As the months went on, so did the investigation into the person or persons directly related to Nicholson's death.  Last week, a warrant for second degree murder was issued for Gomez.  This afternoon, Gomez was added to Crime Stoppers 10 Most Wanted list.  The reward for his arrest is $6,000 - with $3,000 coming from Crime Stoppers and $3,000 committed by the US Marshals Service.
 
Detectives say Gomez should be considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information on his whereabouts 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 $6,000. Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or by submitting a tip on the P3Tips mobile app.
 
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Location of Lee County man sought for interview
February 20, 2020

STATUS: FOUND
 
Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public's help tracking down Charles Sikes (DOB 5/28/86) in reference to an active investigation with the Lee County Sheriff's Office. Detectives are hoping to interview Sikes about knowledge that he may have which could assist with an on-going case. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Sikes, or who knows how to get in touch with him, is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477). All callers will remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $3,000. Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or by submitting a tip on the P3Tips mobile app.
 
 
 
 

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Home invasion robbers still on the run
January 30, 2020

STATUS: OPEN
 
Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public's help locating and tracking down three suspects who robbed a Lehigh Acres family at gunpoint last weekend.
 
The attacked happened just after 2 a.m. on Saturday, January 25th in the 600 block of Glenn Avenue.  The victims said three men, dressed in all black, broke into the home and demanded all the cash in the home.  In fear for their lives, the victims handed over an undisclosed amount of money to the suspects, who then quickly fled the residence.
 
Witnesses reported seeing a drone being flown over the victim's home around an hour before the attack took place, however it is unknown at this point whether or not that incident is related to the robbery.
 
Anyone with information on the attack 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 $3,000.  Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or by submitting a tip on the P3Tips mobile app.


UPDATE - Search is on for Lee County bank robber
January 15, 2020

STATUS: ARRESTED

 

** UPDATE #1 **

Yesterday afternoon, the man who detectives say robbed a Lee County bank in August 2019 was formally charged and is awaiting extradition to Fort Myers.

 

On August 9, 2019, an unknown male walked into the BB&T Bank, located at 12971 McGregor Boulevard, and passed a note to the teller, demanding all the cash in her drawer.  He claimed to be armed, but did not display a weapon. The clerk complied and handed over an undisclosed amount of cash, after which the suspect fled the area on foot.

 

Last month, detectives with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office developed Ismael Alvarez Martin (DOB 1/21/96) as a suspect in a bank robbery that occurred in their jurisdiction. They immediately noticed similarities to the suspect in the robbery of the BB&T Bank in Fort Myers on August 9, and reached out to detectives in Lee County, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  FBI Special Agent Baumgartner immediately coordinated efforts with investigators from Lee, Collier, Polk, Brevard and St. Lucie Counties to compare notes on similar bank robberies from their communities.  A few days later, a multi-agency meeting was held at the local FBI office, during which Martin was confirmed as being a suspect in nine bank robberies around the state which occurred between May 25, 2019 and November 30, 2019.

 

On Thursday, January 9, information was received by Lee County detectives that Martin’s vehicle was spotted in Naples.  Collier County detectives quickly responded and were able to detain Martin and ultimately charge him with one count of robbery from their county.  That evening, Lee County detectives drove down to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office and interviewed Martin, who provided a full confession to his involvement in the Lee County robbery.  An arrest warrant has now been obtained and was served on Martin yesterday afternoon.  Once he is released from the Collier County Jail, he will be extradited back to Lee County to face charges here. In addition to the local arrests, Martin may also face additional charges from other jurisdictions.

 

Martin’s arrest is a testament to the value of information sharing and how a multi-agency coordinated effort can help with the apprehension of violent offenders.

 


ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE:  08/09/2019 

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help identifying and tracking down an unidentified suspect who held up a Lee County bank this afternoon.

Shortly after 3 p.m., the male suspect walked into the BB&T Bank, located at 12971 McGregor Boulevard.  He immediately approached a teller and passed a note claiming that he had a gun and demanded money.  After receiving an undisclosed amount of cash, the suspect fled the bank on foot.

Anyone with information on the identity and whereabouts of the suspect 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 $3,000.  Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or by submitting a tip on the P3Tips mobile app.

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UPDATE - Suspect named in fatal hit and run
January 14, 2020

STATUS: IN CUSTODY
 
** UPDATE #1 **
 
Within the last 15 minutes, Courtney Gainey surrendered herself to members of the US Marshals Fugitive Warrants Task Force.  She had been on the run since Saturday night's hit and run crash that took the life of Allana Staiano.  Detectives met with Gainey late this afternoon at the Waffle House, located at I-75 and Daniels Parkway, and took her into custody without incident.
 
"These incidents are absolutely heartbreaking and our condolences go out to the family," stated Sheriff Carmine Marceno. "But leaving the scene makes it unacceptable. I have a special place for hit-and-run drivers and Courtney Gainey is there right now."
 
Special thanks goes out to the community, who submitted dozens of tips over the last 24 hours on possible locations for Gainey.  Her arrest is also a credit to the tenacious efforts of the Lee County Sheriff's Office's Fugitive Warrants Unit and the US Marshals Task Force who have worked around the clock searching for Gainey.
 
Gainey will be booked later this evening into the Lee County Jail. Her updated mugshot will be available after that time.
 

ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE:  JANUARY 13, 2020
 
Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public's help tracking down a North Fort Myers woman accused of running down and killing a 14 year old girl Saturday night.
 
Within the last two hours, a warrant for the arrest of Courtney Gainey (DOB 2/26/96) was issued for the hit and run crash that took the life of Allana Staiano just after 7 p.m. on January 11th. Allana and a friend were walking home on McDaniel Drive in North Fort Myers when they were struck. The driver of the vehicle immediately fled the scene and never stopped to render help. Allana, sadly, passed away from the injuries she sustained.
 
An investigation and witness accounts led to Gainey being named as the driver and now, she is formally being sought for the hit and run. Gainey was last known to be living in North Fort Myers. Detectives believe that Gainey knows she is wanted and, therefore, is trying to hide from law enforcement.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Gainey 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 $3,000. Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or on the P3Tips mobile app.
 
 
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Hunt is on for Lehigh dog killer
January 12, 2020

STATUS: OPEN

 

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help identifying and tracking down an unknown suspect who has poisoned and killed at least three dogs in Lehigh Acres.

 

The incidents started on Christmas Day, when a witness noticed a male laying out trays of dog food near a friend’s house on Leroy Avenue.  Upon inspection, several cans of dog food in a clear liquid were left in the tins.  The homeowner threw the food out, only to find additional trays of food four days later on December 29th.  She again threw the food out.  However that evening, her one year old hound mix named Ruby became violenty ill.  After nursing her for several days, Ruby passed away on Thursday, January 9.

 

The second confirmed incident occurred on Tuesday, January 7 on Grayson Avenue.  The victim said he left the family’s five year old pitt bull named Goliath in their fenced back yard, as they routinely did.  At 10:30 a.m., Goliath was his usual healthy self, but when the victim returned home at 3 p.m. that day, he found Goliath passed away in the backyard. 

 

Then, on Wednesday, January 8, a one year old pitt bull named Nala got loose from her property in the neighborhood of E. 21st Street for a short time, but upon returning home, she became suddenly ill and passed away.  According to the family veterinarian, Nala had high level of an unknown substance in her liver.  It is suspected that the perpetrator may be using antifreeze to poison the animals.

 

“It is of the utmost importance that we find this suspect immediately,” said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator.  “Someone is maliciously killing family pets and we need to identify and apprehend him before any other dogs fall prey to this guy.”

 

Detectives believe that the same person is responsible for all three reported deaths.  He is described as a light skinned male, 5’8” – 5’9”, with a closely trimmed beard and driving a newer dark green Corvette.  Anyone who has seen anyone who fits this description 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 $3,000.  Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or on the P3Tips mobile app.



Hendry fugitive sought in connection with series of North Fort Myers burglaries
January 01, 2020

STATUS: IN CUSTODY

 

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help tracking down a Hendry County fugitive who is a person of interest in at least six recent burglaries in the Timberbend Communities of North Fort Myers.

 

Detectives are anxious to speak with Michael Williams (DOB 11/14/85) about his possible connection to the break-ins and thefts that all occurred between midnight and 6 a.m. on Tuesday, December 10th.  In total, thousands of dollars worth of items, including a golf cart, chain saw, laptop, Yeti coolers and expensive fishing poles, were taken from the vehicles and boats at multiple residences.  Williams is suspected of using the stolen golf cart to maneuver around the neighborhoods where he is believed to have stolen all the items.  Williams is no stranger to a life of crime, with prior arrests in Lee, Levy and Hendry Counties.  He currently has an active warrant out of Hendry County on drug related charges.

 

Williams is 5’8”, 200 pounds and may be trying to lay low in the Pine Island area.  Anyone with information on his whereabouts 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 $3,000.  Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or by submitting a tip on the P3Tips mobile app.

 

 

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UPDATE - Suspect sought in series of similar crimes
December 26, 2019

STATUS: ARRESTED

 

** UPDATE #1 **

 

Thanks to the public’s help, combined with quick work from detectives, Finlay has been located and will be booked this evening in the Lee County Jail.  Crime Stoppers appreciates the support from the community in tracking him down.

 


 

ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE:  DECEMBER 26, 2019

 

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help tracking down a Lee County man who is accused of stealing keys and breaking into cars at local gyms over the last two weeks.

 

Detectives say Evan Finlay (DOB 4/3/91) is responsible for a series of break-ins at three different gyms.  In each instance, he removed car keys from a common area and broke into previously locked cars, stealing cash, credit cards, wallets, personal identification and other valuables.  The first incident occurred at Generation Fitness, located at 10970 S. Cleveland Avenue.  The victim said she placed her keys on a board, along with other members keys, before starting her work out.  About an hour later, she received an alert from the bank indicating that her cards were being used in a suspicious manner.  After retreating to her car, which was locked when she left it, she found that her wallet, credit cards and cash had all been stolen.

 

The second incident linked to Finlay took place on December 17th at Crunch Fitness, located at 16230 Summerlin Road.  Upon entering the gym, the victim left her keys on a holder, along with other keys, while she worked out.  About an hour later she returned, only to find her keys missing.  When she went out to her car, she found it unlocked, with the keys left in the passenger cup holder.  What was missing, however, was her purse and credit cards.  In the brief hour that she was away from her car, her credit cards had been used at a nearby Publix and Walgreens store for the purchase of multiple gift cards, totaling more than $1,100.

 

The last incident occurred on December 19th, at the Planet Fitness, located at 15501 Old McGregor Boulevard.  Again, the victim left his keys behind the front desk, with other keys, only to return a short time later to find them missing.  When he went out to his car, he found it unlocked and rifled through, however no valuables were left in the car, and nothing was taken. 

 

This morning, charges were filed against Finlay for his involvement in all three incidents, with charges to include multiple conveyance burglaries, fraudulent use of credit cards, grand theft, petit theft, dealing in stolen property and providing false information to a pawn broker.  Finlay may be driving a black Chevy, possibly a Cobalt, with a Virginia tag.  Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Evan Finlay 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 $3,000.  Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or by submitting a tip on the P3Tips mobile app.

 

 

 

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Tips needed to ID attempted robbery suspect
December 20, 2019

STATUS: OPEN

 

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help identifying and tracking down a man who attempted to rob a Lehigh Acres convenience store last night.

 

Just before 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 19th, the suspect walked into the 7-Eleven convenience store, located at 4325 Lee Boulevard.  He initially approached the cashier with a basket full of chips and asked for a price check.  He then walked back towards the aisles, allowing other customers in the store to complete their transactions.  Once all customers left, the suspect walked up to the cashier again, this time demanding all the money from the register.  When the victim advised him that she couldn’t open the drawer without a transaction, the suspect became agitated and reached for something in his waistband that the victim believed resembled a firearm.  The victim told the suspect that police were on the way, prompting him to leave the store on foot, headed eastbound on Lee Boulevard.

 

One witness said he observed the suspect standing in front of the store for approximately 30 minutes before going inside, possibly looking for cameras outside the building.  A second witness began to chase the suspect after he left the store, but quickly disengaged after he saw the would-be robber reach for what looked like a firearm in his waistband.

 

Anyone with information on the identity and whereabouts of the suspect 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 $3,000.  Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or by submitting a tip on the P3Tips mobile app.

 

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