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.

 
 
 

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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'Most Wanted' fugitive apprehended after more than 7 years on the run
December 19, 2019

STATUS: ARRESTED

 

A violent offender who has been on the run for seven and a half years is finally in police custody and enroute back to the United States.

 

Dean Trevil (DOB 1/11/85) was taken down by members of the US Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force on Monday morning after an extensive investigation led them to Boca Chica, Dominican Republic.  Trevil had been on the run since April 2, 2012 on a bench warrant for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and kidnapping.  His original arrest was on January 11, 2011 when he was charged with bringing an acquaintance to a shed, tying him up with an extension cord and beating him repeatedly over the course of two days, in retaliation for a suspected theft.  When the victim was returned home by Trevil, the beatings continued, leaving the man with a collection of broken bones and other serious injuries.  Trevil spent only eight days in jail, after being allowed to bond out.  After he failed to show up for a court hearing, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest and, until earlier this week, he managed to evade law enforcement authorities for years.

 

Monday’s arrest is the culmination of tireless work and cooperation between the Fort Myers-based US Marshals Task Force, the US Marshals Dominican Republic Office, as well as the Dominican Republic Office of National Drug Control.  Members of the Lee County Sheriff’s Offices Fugitive Warrants Unit, who are members of the Task Force, travelled on Sunday to the Dominican Republic and were a vital part of Trevil’s long awaited arrest.

 

“The arrest of one of our longest standing fugitives on the 10 Most Wanted list is huge,” said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator.  “When these hardened criminals find themselves on the radar of the US Marshals Task Force, it’s not a matter of if they will be arrested, it’s a matter of when.  Dean Trevil’s time ran out this week and later tonight, he will begin reacquainting himself with a jail cell.”

 

Trevil is currently in flight back to the United States and, after being processed through US Customs, will arrive in downtown Fort Myers late tonight where he will be booked and held without bond.

 

 

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Additional photos released of rooftop burglar
December 04, 2019

STATUS: OPEN

 

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help identifying and tracking down a man who has burglarized several businesses in Lee County, Florida. 

Over the past month, Lee County has had several restaurant rooftop burglaries in strip malls.  During the burglaries, the subject gains access to the roof and enters the business via an air conditioning duct.  The subject damages the ceiling tiles and takes cash from the register and main office.  We believe the subject drives a dark colored vehicle possibly equipped with a ladder.  It is believed that he uses the I-75 corridor to target businesses between the hours of midnight and 4:00 a.m.  At this time, the make/model of the vehicle is unknown.  The subject is a tall, slim, white male wearing a long sleeve hoodie.

Crime Stoppers is asking all business owners to be proactive and vigilant.  The subject is suspected of waiting for businesses to close and then enters from the rooftop. 

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.

 

Surveillance photos taken from 11/17/2019 Heavenly Pizza and T-Mobile 15201 N. Cleveland Ave

 

 

Surveillance photos taken on 11/25/2019 from Patinella's Chicken Grill located at 6810 Shoppes at Plantation

 

 

Surveillance photos taken on 11/30/2019 from Marsala Pizza located at 20321 Grande Oaks Shoppes Blvd.

 

 



Student tips sought in school threat
November 15, 2019

STATUS: OPEN

 

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the assistance of local students to help track down the person responsible for a written threat at Riverdale High School earlier this week.

 

During the lunch hour on Wednesday, November 13, a student at Riverdale reported seeing a threat written on a soap dispenser in one of the boys restrooms. The message was penned in black magic marker and stated “finna shoot the school.” School Resource Officers and detectives immediately started investigating the threat, which was proven to be non-credible. However, the case will not be closed until the student responsible is identified and charged accordingly.

 

“The message about the seriousness of making school threats is loud and clear. Every single one of these actions is treated with the highest level of priority, to ensure that our schools are safe,” said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator. “Yesterday’s tragic event in California is a sad reminder that students always need to be on the lookout for any kind of suspicious activity or behavior and to be sure to report instances like the threat at Riverdale High School to Crime Stoppers, completely anonymously.  We hope that parents will take this opportunity to revisit this conversation with their teenagers so that they are absolutely clear about the consequences that can follow.”

 

Anyone with information on the written threat at Riverdale 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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Anonymous tip leads to arrest of groping suspect
October 29, 2019

STATUS: ARRESTED

 

Thanks to an anonymous tip to Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers, the man accused of inappropriately groping several women over the last week is now behind bars.

 

Within the last 10 minutes, Dominic Sforza (DOB 9/10/96) was arrested and charged with three counts of battery.  His booking comes on the heels of several women reporting to law enforcement that a strange man approached them and began touching them inappropriately.  All of the incidents occurred during the daylight hours and in public places, to include the parking lots of large stores, as well as a fast food restaurant.  Within a few hours of an anonymous tip being made to Crime Stoppers, victims met with detectives and were able to positively identify Sforza as their attacker.  Additional charges could be forthcoming.

 

“There should never be a time when residents are afraid to conduct daily business,” said Sheriff Carmine Marceno. “Our team worked around the clock with the community to help identify this suspect and quickly bring him into custody.” 

 

Crime Stoppers thanks the community for its swift call to action, which made all the difference in this case.

 

 

 

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Two years later, answers still sought in Bonita homicide
October 29, 2019

STATUS: OPEN

 

Today marks two years since 34 year old Sarah Nicolson was killed in her Bonita Springs home.  And although one person has been arrested in connection with her murder, the actual killer or killers are still at large and Crime Stoppers needs the public’s help tracking them down.

 

Deputies were initially called to Nicholson’s Squire Lane home around 6 a.m. on Sunday, October 29, 2017 in response to a residential fire. Shortly after arriving on scene, Nicholson’s body was found inside the home, the apparent victim of a homicide.  More than seven months later, Cristian Dilan was arrested in connection with the incident and was charged with burglary, robbery and accomplice after the fact to second degree murder.  Dilan still remains in custody this morning for his role in the crime, while the person or persons ultimately responsible for Nicholson’s death have yet to be held accountable for their actions.

 

“Sarah’s friends and family are still waiting for the day that justice will be served,” said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator. “We are confident there are people who know far more than they’ve shared with law enforcement to date.  Two years have passed – the time is now to finally be forthcoming with whatever information you may have that could be integral with moving this case forward and providing the answers to help solve a homicide.”

 

Anyone with information on the murder of Sarah Nicholson 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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Suspect sought in early morning armed robbery
October 29, 2019

STATUS: OPEN

 

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help identifying and tracking down an unidentified suspect who robbed a Lee County 7-Eleven store early this morning.

 

Around 3:15 this morning, the suspect entered the 7-Eleven convenience store, located at 15021 McGregor Boulevard, holding a machete in one hand and a blue bag in the other.  He immediately jumped over the counter and demanded cash from all the registers.  After the clerk complied and cleared the drawers of an undisclosed amount of cash, the masked man left the store and headed southbound on McGregor.  The entire armed robbery took less than two minutes.

 

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.

 

 



Student tips needed following middle school threat
October 18, 2019

STATUS: OPEN
 
Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the assistance of local students in helping track down the person responsible for making a threat at Cypress Lake Middle School earlier this week.
 
On Wednesday, Oct. 16th, just after 1 p.m., a student at the school told administrators that someone had written a threat in the boys restroom.  Upon inspection, it was learned that the handwritten message stated “I’m going to shoot the school.”  School Resource Officers and detectives immediately began investigating the threat and talking to students in hopes of identifying the person responsible.  Several students were interviewed by detectives, however the student who wrote the threat is still unknown.  Crime Stoppers is hopeful that students at Cypress Lake Middle will do the right thing and report what they heard or know anonymously.  Although the threat has been deemed non-credible, there will still be legal repercussions on the person responsible for writing the message.
 
“Parents are encouraged to have a conversation with their students about the serious impact of making threats of violence at school,” said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator.  “While some students may think it’s a joke, or a prank, making a threat of violence can get them suspended from school, at the very least, or even land them in jail.”
 
Anyone with information on the threat made at Cypress Lake Middle School this week 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 on the P3Tips mobile app.
 
 

 

 

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Answers still sought one year after Bell Tower shootings
October 09, 2019

STATUS: OPEN

 

Today marks one year since two men were murdered, and two others injured, in a spray of gunfire at the Bell Tower Shops in Fort Myers.  And now, one year later, Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is making a renewed push for tips that could finally lead to the arrest of the person or persons responsible.

 

During the evening hours of October 9, 2018, 56 year-old Kevin Robinson and his step-son 22 year old Javarcia Riggins were having dinner at TGI Friday’s with family members.  After dinner, the two men briefly stepped outside the restaurant and were immediately met with gunfire.  Both Robinson and Riggins were killed as a result, and two others were injured that night.  Although some witness accounts provided some information as to what transpired that night, the person or persons responsible are still at large.  Given the sizeable number of people who were in the area at the Bell Tower at the time, Crime Stoppers is hoping that someone will come forward anonymously to help paint a clearer picture and ultimately, help track down one or more killers.

 

“That night was very hectic and people were understandably panicked about what had just happened. For that reason, some potential witnesses may have been hesitant to share what they saw or heard,” said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator. “But here we are, one year later, and the family who lost two loved ones that night deserve to see justice served. Our community deserves to see justice served. And all it takes is for someone to have the bravery to come forward, completely anonymously, to share what they know.”

 

Anyone with information on the October 9, 2018 shootings at the Bell Tower Shops 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 - Information still sought in Charlotte death investigation
October 04, 2019

STATUS: OPEN

 

 

** UPDATE # 1 **

 

 

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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UPDATE - Student tips sought in two school threats
September 26, 2019

STATUS: ARRESTED

 

 

 

** UPDATE #1 **

 

Late this afternoon, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Cypress Lake Middle School student who made a threat at the school nine days ago.

 

Ian Butzler (DOB 5/5/06), who actually reported the threat to his School Resource Officer on September 17th, was arrested late this afternoon with perpetrating the threat.  Within the last half hour, he has been booked and charged with intimidation/sending a written threat to kill and making a false report – both of which are felony crimes.

 

“This afternoon’s arrest is a reminder of our zero tolerance policy on threats against our schools and students,” said Sheriff Carmine Marceno.  “I’ve said it before: See it, Say it, Make the call.”

 

 

 

 


 

ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE:  SEPTEMBER 22, 2019

 

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the help of Lee County students to track down the persons responsible for two separate school threats this month.

 

The first incident occurred on Thursday, September 5th at Varsity Lakes Middle School in Lehigh Acres.  In the early afternoon hours, a written threat was discovered by a student in the second floor girls bathroom.  Inside one of the stalls, someone wrote “shoot up the school tomorro with my dad.”  To date, the student responsible for making this threat has not been identified.  The second unresolved situation was on Tuesday, September 17th at Cypress Lake Middle School.  That afternoon, a student informed school administrators of a written threat in the boys bathroom.  The threat, which stated “I will shoot up this school” was carved in the back of a bathroom stall door.  Although several students were interviewed by School Resource Officers, the person who wrote the threat has yet to be held responsible. 

 

Both episodes were thoroughly investigated by detectives and have been deemed as non-credible.  Despite that, both threats equate to felony crimes, and once the responsible students are identified, they will be charged accordingly.

 

“We hope that parents of students at these two middle schools will take the opportunity today to discuss these threats with their sons or daughters before they head back to school Monday morning,” said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator.  “It cannot be stressed enough that the students making these threats are committing a crime and that these actions are very serious matters and by no stretch should be considered funny or a joke.  Students have various ways to report what they know about these threats completely anonymously.  It’s a role they play in helping keep their schools safe.”

 

Students with information on either of these incidents are asked to contact 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 on the Crime Stoppers website at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or on the P3Tips mobile app.

 

 

 

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Vehicle of interest sought in unsolved April homicide
September 03, 2019

STATUS: OPEN
 
Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help tracking down a vehicle which may be connected to the murder of a 51 year old man earlier this year.
 
Ronald Martin was found in the roadway near the intersection of Tropic Avenue and First Street in Fort Myers Shores in the early morning hours of April 2, 2019, the apparent victim of a gunshot wound.  Surveillance cameras from nearby businesses captured an image of a vehicle which detectives believe may be connected to the crime.  Now, they’re hoping someone from the public will be able to identify the car’s owner, or provide any additional information on what transpired at the time of Martin’s death.
 
Anyone with information about the vehicle, or any details regarding the murder of Ronald Martin, 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 on the P3Tips mobile app.
 
 
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UPDATE - North Fort Myers convenience store robbed at gunpoint
August 30, 2019

STATUS: IN CUSTODY

 

** UPDATE #1 **

 

 

ARRESTED - John Armstrong Jr. In Custody

As a result of an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers, John Armstrong, Jr., DOB 12/08/1988, was arrested on charges of robbery with a weapon and battery on 08/30/2019.

 


ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE:  JUNE 24, 2019

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help identifying and tracking down an armed suspect who robbed a North Fort Myers 7-Eleven early this morning.

Just after 2 a.m., an unidentified suspect, wearing all black clothing and a multicolored mask, entered the 7-Eleven, located at 17930 N. Tamiami Trail, demanding cash.  He immediately pointed a black semi-automatic pistol at the two clerks, before jumping the counter and striking one of the employees in the face.  In fear for her life, the second clerk opened the cash register and handed over an undisclosed amount of cash.  With the money in hand, the suspect fled the scene in an unknown direction.

He is described as being approximately 5’8” to 5’10” with a thin build.  His race is unknown at this point, due to the clothing and mask.  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 still needed in 2017 hit and run death
August 28, 2019

STATUS: OPEN

 

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help generating leads in a 2017 hit and run crash that took the life of a 29 year old Lehigh Acres woman.

Sometime between the late night hours of October 21, 2017 and the early morning of October 22, 2017, an unknown driver travelling on 40th Street in Lehigh struck and killed Akeera “Kee Kee” Shanks.  Her body was left on the side of the road for at least a half day before eventually being found by a bicyclist.  Although some leads were generated shortly after the crash, investigators are now in a holding pattern and are hopeful that someone who knows something about the driver will finally clear their conscience and come forward.

“Kee Kee was the light of her family, and it’s been a painful nearly two years trying to wrap their heads around the fact that the person who took her life never even stopped and tried to render help,” said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator.  “There is a strong likelihood that the driver lives or lived in the Lehigh area, so we hope that someone knows something or heard something about the person responsible for Kee Kee’s death.  The driver took a life and doesn’t deserve the protection of friends or family – this person needs to be held accountable.”

In an effort to keep her memory alive, Kee Kee’s family is working on placing a pink park bench at the corner of 40th Street and Rena Avenue for students waiting for their school bus in the morning.  It’s one way, they hope, to keep others walking on that road safe from irresponsible drivers.

Anyone with information on the identity of the driver who took Akeera Shanks’ life 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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Tips needed to track down author of school threat
August 27, 2019

STATUS: OPEN
 
Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the help of the public, and especially students, to track down the person responsible for writing a school threat last week at Varsity Lakes Middle School.
 
Last Friday morning, school officials at Varsity Lakes Middle, located at 801 Gunnery Road N., Lehigh Acres, were alerted about a threat of violence written on the wall in the boys bathroom.  The threat implied an act of violence on 8/28/19.  Detectives with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office’s Youth Services Unit were immediately called upon to investigate the threat, which has since been deemed as non-credible.  However investigators and School Resource Officers are hoping that someone will have the bravery to come forward and share information about the student who wrote the threat.
 
“There is zero tolerance for any student who makes a threat on any school campus,”  said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator.  “We hope that parents will have the conversation with their children about the seriousness of making these kinds of threats and the consequences that will follow.  We also hope that students will do the right thing and report what they know – while remaining 100 percent anonymous.”
 
Earlier this year, in February, a student at Varsity Lakes Middle School was arrested and charged with a felony crime for making a threat of school violence.
 
Even though last week’s threat was deemed non-credible, extra law enforcement resources will be on campus at Varsity Lakes Middle tomorrow.
 
Anyone with information on the person who wrote the school threat 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.
 
Note: A photo of signage and banners that are being distributed to Southwest Florida schools to help educate about reporting this type of crime, is attached to this release.
 
 
 
 
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