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.  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.

 
 
 

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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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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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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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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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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Search is on for Lee County bank robber
August 09, 2019

STATUS: OPEN

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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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.

Note:  No photos or video are available at this time.  If that changes, photos will be sent out in a follow-up release.

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