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 Submit a Tip 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.

 
 
 

Armed suspect at large following early morning robbery
August 25, 2019

STATUS: ARRESTED

 

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help identifying and tracking down an armed suspect who held up a Lee County convenience store early this morning.

Shortly after 3:40 a.m., an unidentified Hispanic male entered the Circle K store, located at 20021 Summerlin Road.  With a firearm in hand, he approached the store clerk and demanded cash from both the register and safe.  In fear for her life, the clerk complied.  After receiving an undisclosed amount of cash, the suspect fled the store on foot.

Anyone with information on the identity and whereabouts of the suspect is asked to call the Crime Stoppers hotline 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 continues for missing woman
August 15, 2019

STATUS: OPEN

 

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s continued help trying to locate a woman who’s been missing for more than two years.

Keri Ann Cefarelli was last seen on January 5, 2017 when she left her home in North Fort Myers.  Several days after her disappearance, there were some verified sightings of Cefarelli in the central Fort Myers area along US 41, but since that time there have been no further reports.  According to family members, it was unlike Cefarelli to take off for an extended period, and as time has continued to pass, their concerns for her safety have only increased.

“Keri was dealing with issues in her life, but the one constant center of her world was her son – and leaving him without saying a word just isn’t something she would do,” said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator.  “We’re hoping that someone will recognize her photo and be able to share with us where and when they saw her last.  Her family is extremely concerned for her safety and wellbeing, and they just need to know that she’s ok.”

Cefarelli is now 42 years old, 5’5”, 120 pounds, with a tattoo of a flower on her right shoulder and a cat on her ankle.  Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Cefarelli is asked to call the Crime Stoppers hotline 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 - Armed suspect sought in early morning robbery
July 26, 2019

STATUS: OPEN

 

** UPDATE #1 **

 

Crime Stoppers is once again asking for the public’s help identifying an armed robber who is still at large.

The suspect held up the 7-Eleven store, located at 15261 Convenience Way on May 2nd, walking away with an undisclosed amount of cash.  Although some tips were initially received, Crime Stoppers is still hoping that someone will be able to provide information that will lead to his identification and apprehension.  Anyone with information on this case 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.


ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE:  MAY 2, 2019

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help identifying and tracking down the man who robbed a 7-Eleven convenience store early this morning.

Just before 2:30 a.m., an unidentified male entered the 7-Eleven store, located at 15261 Convenience Way.  After walking up to the fountain drink area, he proceeded to the register, pulled out a firearm and demanded all the cash from the drawer.  In fear for her life, the clerk complied and handed over an undisclosed amount of money placed in a plastic bag.  The suspect immediately fled the store on foot in an unknown direction.

He is described as a white or Hispanic male, who was wearing a black hoodie and tan pants.  Anyone with information on the identity or 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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Retired Captain to be honored by Hall of Fame with Lifetime Achievement Award
July 18, 2019

 

A law enforcement officer whose name became synonymous with putting bad guys behind bars will be honored this fall with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Law Enforcement Officer Hall of Fame.

Captain John Drum was a 25 year veteran officer of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, serving from 1989 until his retirement in 2014.  During his years of service, Drum worked in various capacities, including the patrol division, where his no-nonsense nature and drive for public safety earned him the street name of “The Hammer.”  His unique skillset eventually landed him a spot in the Sheriff’s Office’s Fugitive Warrants Unit, where he spent the majority of his career.  As part of that specialty unit, Drum also became a revered member of the US Marshals Fugitive Warrants Task Force,  where he had the opportunity to work side by side with some of the most talented officers from throughout the region.  In total, Drum spent 60 percent of his career working as Marshal.  His hard work paved the way for several promotions, culminating with the rank of Captain shortly before his retirement.  During his 25 year career with LCSO, Drum amassed 7,423 physical arrests, with an unheard average of 5.71 arrests every single week over the course of a quarter century.

Sadly, just four years into his retirement, Captain Drum passed away unexpectedly last fall.

In recognition of his years of service, his dedication to law enforcement and his fine-tuned skillset to hunting down wanted fugitives, Drum was selected by the Law Enforcement Officer Hall of Fame this week as the 2019 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.  That honor will be bestowed in the memory of Captain Drum at a ceremony to be held in Maumee, Ohio on September 12th.  His wife Dana will be on hand to receive the award in his memory, as will his nephew Steve Drum and his wife Michele, and close friends Jim and Dianne Jones.

“Every day, officers across the country perform selfless, often sacrificial acts in the interest of public service and safety that go unheralded,” according to Scott Buhrmaster of the Law Enforcement Officer Hall of Fame.  “It’s part of the job, and they know that.  They don’t seek praise, but they deserve it.  All of us involved in this project are determined to help spotlight these officers’ outstanding work, not only to honor them as individuals, but to honor the profession as well.”

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Tips needed to help hunt down dolphin killer
July 12, 2019

STATUS: OPEN

 

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help generating any leads on the person or persons involved with the stabbing of a bottlenose dolphin off the coast of Upper Captiva.

The National Marine Fisheries Service was alerted to the presence of a dead bottlenose dolphin off Upper Captiva on May 24th.  Investigators concluded that the dolphin had been stabbed in the head with a spear-like object, likely upon surfacing the water.  Results from a subsequent necropsy confirmed that the six-inch wound caused the adult male dolphin to bleed to death.  This particular dolphin was actively being tracked by local biologists and had been spotted swimming near fishing boats just a few days prior to being found deceased.

Crime Stoppers is now joining forces with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Humane Society of the United States, in trying to find the individuals responsible for this callous killing.

“It is heartbreaking to see this awful act of violence perpetrated upon a beautiful, harmless creature,” said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator.  “This was, without a doubt, a sick act of cruelty and we hope that anyone who has information on the responsible party will step up, do the right thing, and share whatever information they have.  Anyone who may have spotted something suspicious on the waterways off of Upper Captiva in the days before the dolphin was found, or anyone who has even heard second hand information, is encouraged to reach out to us.  The person or persons who did this must be held accountable.”

Anyone with information on the stabbing of the male dolphin 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. Additional reward money is being offered by the Humane Society of the United States and the NOAA.  Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.comor by submitting a tip on the P3Tips mobile app.

 

 

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New image could help heat up cold case
July 04, 2019

STATUS: OPEN

 

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help identifying a woman whose body was recovered off of St. James City nearly 24 years ago.

The unidentified woman was found on October 7, 1995, in the area of York Island, which is just south of St. James City, off the southern end of Pine Island.  At the time she was found, there were no clues as to who the woman was, or how she ended up in the waterway.  A search of missing persons reports also offered no matches as to who the woman could possibly be.  The only clue detectives had at the time was a red medical smock that she was wearing, which had the words “Charleston S.C. V.A. Hospital.”  Unfortunately, there were no matches with any Charleston area hospital, nor any V.A. medical facilities.  To this date, the woman is still considered a “Jane Doe.”

As a result of an anthropological examination of the woman’s remains, paired with technological advances, detectives have released a forensic artist’s rendering of what they believe the woman looked like just before she was found deceased.  Crime Stoppers is hoping that this picture will look familiar to someone who may be able to assist with finally identifying this female and ultimately making a connection with her family.  She is believed to be a white female in her late 30’s or early 40’s, approximately 5’2” tall. She was likely a smoker who suffered numerous fractures and surgeries over her lifetime, including surgically placed screws in her right ankle.  She also had evidence of cranial surgery on the left side of her skull.

Anyone with even the slightest bit of information on who this woman may be 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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Gun toting suspect sought after late night robbery
July 01, 2019

STATUS: OPEN

 

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help identifying and tracking down an armed suspect who robbed a Lee County Circle K last night.

Just after 11:30 p.m., a black male, wearing all black clothing, entered the Circle K, located at 11225 S. Cleveland Avenue, holding a silver gun.  He immediately proceeded behind the counter, where he pointed the gun at a clerk and demanded money.  After receiving an undisclosed amount of cash, the man fled the store in a southbound direction.

He is described as being in his mid 20’s, thin build, dark skinned, wearing a black mask, black bandanna, black hat and black pants.  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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Armed suspect sought in early morning 7-Eleven robbery
June 24, 2019

STATUS: OPEN

 

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help identifying and tracking down the man who robbed a south Lee County convenience store at gunpoint early this morning.

The unidentified man walked into the 7-Eleven, located at 9990 Interstate Commerce Drive, at 3:13 a.m. with a gun pointed at the store’s clerks.  The suspect walked to the rear of the counter and waited for employees to empty the cash registers into plastic bags, before leaving the store just one minute later with an undisclosed amount of money and gun in hand.  The suspect is described as a black male with a thin build, in his late 20s or early 30s, approximately 5’6” to 5’8”, wearing blue gloves, black shoes, black jeans, a black shirt covered by a lime green t-shirt and a lime green safety vest.  He wore a white bandanna over this face during the robbery, as well as dark sunglasses and a black hat.

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 - Robbery suspect at large in North Fort Myers
May 29, 2019

STATUS: ARRESTED
 
 
** UPDATE #2 **

 

 

 

After being on the run for well over a year, the man accused of robbing a Wells Fargo Bank in North Fort Myers last January is heading back to the familiar setting of a jail cell.

This afternoon, Anthony Masters, DOB 11/11/69, was charged with the January 22, 2018 robbery at the bank’s Pine Island Road location.  Today’s arrest follows recent bank robberies in Cape Coral, for which Masters was developed as a suspect.  Robbery detectives with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office conducted an interview with Masters regarding his role in the 2018 Wells Fargo hold up and have now charged him with one count of unarmed robbery.

Masters is no stranger to a life of crime, having been booked 15 times since 1987 on a list of crimes that include weapons offenses, grand theft, burglary, contempt and hit and run causing property damage.  In addition to his local jail time, Masters has also been incarcerated in Taylor, Bradford and Washington Counties, on charges of attempted robbery, weapons offenses, aggravated battery and battery on a law enforcement officer.  For his crimes, he’s been sent to state prison three times for a duration of roughly 15 years.

Masters will be booked later today in the Lee County Jail.

 

 
 
** UPDATE #1 ** FEBRUARY 5, 2018
 

In hopes of identifying the person responsible for robbing the Wells Fargo bank in North Fort Myers last month, an additional reward of up to $5,000 has been posted for information resulting in an arrest and conviction.  This reward, which is being offered by Wells Fargo, is in addition to the $1,000 being offered by Crime Stoppers.

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 $1,000 from Crime Stoppers and up to $5,000 from Wells Fargo.  Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or by submitting a tip through the P3Tips mobile app.


 
ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE:  JANUARY 22, 2018

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help tracking down a man who robbed a North Fort Myers bank this afternoon.

Just after 2:15 p.m. this afternoon, an unidentified man entered the Wells Fargo Bank, located at 3041 Pine Island Road, and presented a note to the teller demanding cash.  The man fled the bank on foot with an undisclosed amount of money and headed towards the nearby McDonald’s on foot.  He may have left the area in a blue Dodge Ram truck.

The suspect is described as being in his 50s, 5’10” with salt and pepper hair and a beard.  He was wearing jeans, a yellow sweatshirt, a blue Steelers baseball cap and dark sunglasses at the time of the robbery.  No gun was visible to the teller.

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 $1,000.  Tips may also be made online atwww.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or by submitting a tip through the P3Tips mobile app.

 

 

 



SW Florida Crime Stoppers Awarded At Regional Conference
May 08, 2019

 

Earlier this evening, Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers was awarded for being the Most Productive Crime Stoppers program in the entire Southeastern US.  The Productivity Award was given at a banquet culminating the 38th annual training conference for the Southeastern Crime Stoppers Association in Asheville, NC. The Productivity Award is based on the number of tips received during 2018, as well as the number of arrests, cases cleared, as well as the value of drugs and property seized as a result of anonymous tips.  Tonight’s award presentation marks the 14thconsecutive year that Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers has earned the designation of the Most Productive program in the region.  In addition to the Productivity Award, Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers also earned the Most Creative Advertising Award.

“The success of our program is a testament to the value and importance of having a Crime Stoppers program in our community,” said Trish Routte, Board Coordinator, who was on hand in Asheville to receive these awards.  “We have spent years building trust so that residents know they can reach out to us 24 hours a day and share what they know about unsolved crimes and wanted fugitives, without ever having their identities revealed.  Community members continue to step up and provide tips which have led to hundreds of criminals being taken off the streets, and relocated to a jail cell, every year.  These awards are a testament to the successful relationships between Crime Stoppers, law enforcement and the general public.”

To date, anonymous tips to Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers number well over 75,000, resulting in the closure of more than 20,000 criminal cases.  Tips have also led to the seizure of $18,938,000 in drugs and stolen property.  And for those tips, $1.993 million in cash rewards have been approved for payout.

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Suspect sought after business robbed at gunpoint
April 29, 2019

STATUS: OPEN

 

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help identifying and tracking down a suspect who held up a Lee County check cashing store at gunpoint Friday afternoon.

Just after 3:30 p.m. on Friday, April 26th, an unidentified white male walked into the Advance America, located at 11861 Palm Beach Boulevard, brandishing a handgun and demanding money.  Before leaving the business with an undisclosed amount of cash, the suspect removed the landline telephone.  Witnesses say he left the store, then walked across the parking lot to a nearby 7-Eleven convenience store.  After a brief encounter at the 7-Eleven, he fled the area on foot.

Anyone with information on 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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Bank robbery suspect at large
April 16, 2019

STATUS: OPEN

 

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help identifying and tracking down a man who robbed the BB & T Bank, located at 9090 Daniels Parkway, late this morning.

Just before noon, a man wearing a surgical mask and baseball cap approached a teller with a note demanding cash.  The teller complied and the man, who walked with a cane, fled the bank.  At no point was a gun displayed by the suspect.  According to witnesses, the suspect is described as being a white male in his mid 40s to early 50s.

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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Woman accused of stealing more than $8,000 in check fraud case
March 28, 2019

STATUS: OPEN

 

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help identifying and tracking down a suspect accused of stealing more than $8,000 from a Lee County woman.

Back in December, the victim left her purse in her locked vehicle while she attended the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Naples during the mid-day hours. Barely 30 minutes later, she returned to her vehicle, only to find the rear driver side window busted out and her purse and all of its contents gone.  She immediately reported her credit cards as missing, but just over a month later discovered that her checkbook had fallen into the wrong hands.  As it turns out, an unknown female used five of her checks and cashed them at different Suncoast Credit Union branches throughout Lee County over the course of a two day period.  The first check that cleared was for $1,500, with four subsequent checks cut and cashed for increments that increased by $100 each time, for a grand total of $8,500.

Surveillance cameras captured a picture of the female suspect during one of her five transactions.  Detectives believe she may be driving a newer model black SUV, possibly a Lexus.  Anyone with information on the identity and whereabouts of the woman 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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Witnesses still sought in fatal I-75 shooting
March 21, 2019

STATUS: OPEN

 

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is once again asking for the public’s help tracking down witnesses in a fatal shooting that occurred on I-75 in mid-December.

Around 4:30 a.m. on Sunday, December 16, 2018, officers responded to a scene around Mile Marker 125 on I-75, just south of Alico Road, where a car had crashed into the median.  Upon further inspection, it was learned that the driver of the car, 29 year old Ronald Green, had been shot and was suffering from life threatening injuries.  Nearly three weeks later, Green succumbed to those injuries and the shooting turned into a homicide investigation.

While some drivers who were in the area at the time of the shooting have spoken to detectives, there is a continued need for information from other drivers who happened to be in the vicinity that morning.  Any drivers who may have witnessed the shooting, or any altercation along that portion of I-75 around 4:30 a.m. on December 16th are 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.comor by submitting a tip on the P3Tips mobile app.

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UPDATE - Suspect sought in sex crime
March 16, 2019

STATUS: ARRESTED

 

** UPDATE #1 **

 

 

Within the last hour, the man accused of committing a sex crime on a local woman has been arrested.

As a result of an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers, coupled with thorough detective work by Lee County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes detectives, Marquest Ruffin, DOB 12/13/90,  was arrested this evening on charges of lewd/lascivious molestation, lewd/lascivious battery and kidnapping.  Ruffins is currently en route to the Lee County Jail. His mugshot will be available later this evening.


ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE:  MARCH 12, 2019

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help identifying and tracking down an unidentified man believed to have been involved with a sex crime early Monday evening.

According to detectives, the female victim was walking down Equestrian Circle, near World Plaza Drive, just before 6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 11.  An unknown man, driving a white four-door sedan, approached the victim and attempted to pull her into his vehicle.  During this time, a sex crime was committed before the female could break free and run to safety.

The suspect is described as being approximately 28 years old, 6’0”, with a thin build, short dreadlocked hair and a thin mustache.  The white sedan may have a zebra patterned steering wheel with pink trim.  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.



Thieves targeting gym lockers
March 13, 2019

 

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help tracking down one or more individuals involved with a series of gym locker thefts in Lee County over the last week.

At least three victims have reported that their credit cards were stolen from secured lockers at Crunch Fitness Gym, located at 16230 Summerlin Road, while they worked out.  In each of the cases, the victims placed their personal belongings in a gym locker, secured the locker with a combination lock, then returned to find credit cards and other personal information stolen.  In each of the instances, stolen credit cards were used within an hour of the thefts, to the tune of several thousand dollars in total.  On March 6th, a victim stated that he locked up his wallet at 8 a.m., only to return at 9 a.m. to find credit cards missing.  He immediately contacted the credit card companies to alert them of the thefts, but was told that one of the cards had already been used for a $1,544 purchase at Best Buy.  The very next day, another victim secured his locker around 1:25 p.m., returning at 2 p.m. Two credit cards were missing from his wallet – one of which was used at 2:03 p.m. at Target for $565 and another at 2:38 p.m. at a different Target store for $628.  According to detectives, at least one other similar theft has been reported at that location in the last several days.

At this point, only one of the fraudulent transactions made with a stolen credit card have been captured on surveillance video.  The suspect is described as a white female.  Anyone with information on the identity 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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Armed robbers on the run after late night hold up
March 08, 2019

STATUS: OPEN

 

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help identifying and tracking down two suspects who robbed a Lehigh Acres food truck at gunpoint last night.

Just before midnight on Thursday, employees of the Los Taquitos Mexican Food truck, located at 3305 Lee Blvd., were preparing to close for the evening when two males, wearing all black clothing, approached from a nearby vacant field.  The employees were ordered to the ground, while the suspects held them at gunpoint.  One of the victims was told to get up and retrieve all the money from the cash register, while the second employee was held on the ground and told not to make eye contact with the robbers. After grabbing an undisclosed amount of cash, as well as the victims cell phones, cash and jewelry, the men fled on foot.  They are described as being between 19 and 25 years of age, both with thin builds.  One of the suspects spoke in English and is believed to be a light-skinned black male; the second suspect is a white or Hispanic male who spoke Spanish, possibly with a Cuban accent.

Anyone with information on the identities or whereabouts of either 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 - Concerned citizens increase reward for arrest of animal abuser
March 07, 2019

STATUS: SOLVED
 
 
** UPDATE #1 **
 
 
Continued commitment from local residents has increased the reward fund for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Chance’s abuser once again.

Additional financial pledges over the last 24 hours have led to the reward jumping by $2,100 to a total of $16,600.  Of that reward, $13,600 would be awarded upon the arrest and conviction of the person responsible, with the other up to $3,000 being rewarded to an anonymous tipster who provides information leading to an arrest only in Chance’s case.


ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE:  MARCH 6, 2019

Nearly a week after a young dog was found in Lehigh Acres with its mouth taped shut and suffering from multiple injuries, anonymous donors are adding to the reward fund to help find the person responsible for the abuse.

As of this afternoon, concerned citizens and organizations have pledged $11,500 to the reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.  The amount is added to the reward of up to $3,000 being offered by Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers, bringing the total number to $14,500.  The injured dog, who has since been named Chance, was found last Thursday, Feb. 28th in the 3000 block of 42nd Street SW in Lehigh Acres.  He is currently being treated for his injuries and is well on the road to a full recovery.

“There has been an outpouring of concern and support for Chance, coupled with a strong desire to see the person responsible for inflicting his injuries to be identified and arrested,” said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator.  “While the reward money is a motivator for some, we hope that anyone who has information on this crime will come forward because it’s the right thing to do.”

Anyone with information on the abuse of Chance 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 $11,500 from other donors.  Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.comor by submitting a tip on the P3Tips mobile app.

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Suspects sought in early morning armed robbery
March 07, 2019

STATUS: OPEN

 

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help identifying and tracking down two masked men who robbed a 7-Eleven convenience store at gunpoint early this morning.

The suspects entered the store, located at 11700 S. Cleveland Avenue, at 2:53 a.m.  The black male suspect brandished a small caliber black semiautomatic pistol and demanded all the money from the cash register, while the Hispanic male suspect jumped over the counter with a black backpack and grabbed an undisclosed amount of money, as well as multiple Instant Lottery tickets.  The men quickly fled the store on foot, headed westbound on Palm Drive.

Anyone with information on the identities and whereabouts of the suspects 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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Slick talker scams cash from local bank
March 07, 2019

STATUS: OPEN

 

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help identifying a theft suspect who scammed a bank out of more than $1,800.

According to detectives, the suspect walked into the Regions Bank, located at 13520 North Cleveland Avenue, on Monday, Feb. 11th.  The man, who claimed to be Australian, approached a teller and stated that he wanted to exchange $4,200 in $100 dollar bills for $50 dollar bills on behalf of his mother, who was supposedly a customer of the bank.  After confirming that the $100 dollar bills were authentic, the teller exchanged the money for the $50 dollar bills requested.  After taking receipt of the stack of cash, the suspect said that he actually wanted to exchange the money for $50 bills in Australian currency.  The teller explained that the bank did not carry foreign cash and that he would need to go elsewhere to make that transaction.  The unidentified man then placed the stack of $50 bills through the cashier’s money tray and asked for his original $100 bills back.  The teller complied with that request, at which point the suspect left the bank.  Shortly after his exit, the teller realized that the $50 bills that were returned to her contained significantly less money than she gave the suspect – to the tune of $1,850.  Detectives believe the suspect slyly slid some of the cash inside his shirt during the exchange, and left before the teller noticed the discrepancy.

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 through the P3Tips mobile app.

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