A Lehigh Acres sheriff's deputy working out of the Lehigh Bravo Station is the latest to be honored by the Greater Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce. Detective Ryan Hall was named the chamber's Officer of the Month at its monthly luncheon last week at the Majestic Golf and Country Club.
Capt. John Haberman, who commands the Lehigh Bravo Station, told chamber members that Hall had been dispatched on Feb. 4 to an address on Randletree Street East in reference to an ongoing occupied residential burglary.
The suspects had fled prior to deputies' arrival and while a search of the area was in progress, Detective Ryan Hall arrived at the crime scene and immediately began an investigation.
Officer of the Month is Detective Ryan Hall, shown here at the right. At left is Capt. John Haberman and in the center is Sgt. Chris Lalor, a supervisor.
He discovered a .38 caliber handgun as well as a bag containing burglary tools. Written on the outside of the bag was the phrase, "Wintrice's book." Hall researched the name through the Lee County
Sheriff's Office Youth Services Division and Sgt. William Trout came up with the full name of a juvenile.
Hall researched the juvenile's address and came up with a name who had a history at the juvenile's home address.
Haberman told chamber members that Hall completed a photograph lineup using the male suspect he had come up with and the victim of the burglary positively identified the suspect as being one of the two burglars.
Detective Hall researched all of the juvenile's prior addresses and came up with the name of another juvenile who was a friend and who used to live with Davis.
Then Hall made contact with the suspect at his current address where he also found the other suspect, and located the first suspect's vehicle.
This was the same vehicle which was used in the crime which is a felony.
Hall also recovered the victim's stolen property within the suspect's home. Both suspects ultimately confessed to committing the burglary and the suspect's vehicle which was used in the commission of the crime was impounded and seized.
"Detective Ryan Hall is to be congratulated for doing an outstanding job investigating this crime which ultimately lead to two physical arrests and a seizure of a vehicle.
On behalf of the chamber, Detective Hall was given a framed citation.
The chamber also recognized an Employee of the Month at last week's luncheon. But Terry Summerall, who was to be honored, was unable to attend.
Chamber President and CEO Baker said Summerall had gone above the call of duty by helping a patient with her son's appointment with an oral surgeon. Apparently, the oral surgeon's office had been giving the patient a difficult time regarding getting a referral from Dr. Stanley Blair's office, for whom she works.
Summerall is credited for cutting through a lot of red tape and was able to prepare paperwork that solved the problem which allowed the patient to be seen by the surgeon.
Baker said that she and Chamber President Cindy Dodd would present the award in person at Summerall's place of employment.
Next to be honored was a man well-known in Lehigh. Jim Phebus, former owner of a travel agency and now retired was honored for his work as a volunteer at the chamber's office and welcome center at the Lehigh Towne Center shopping plaza.
Baker said Phebus, a two-term honorary mayor of Lehigh, is retired and volunteers every Monday in the front office of the chamber.
"He takes care of visitors and callers and is happy to share his vast knowledge about Lehigh Acres with everyone who finds the way to the welcome center.
"Jim Phebus has been active in many organizations and everyone knows of the Phebus Building on Lee Blvd which was named for him. The building has been sold.
He has become a fixture in our community and is very much appreciated and loved by the chamber staff. We are proud to honor Jim Phebus for all of the volunteer work he does for us," she said.
Capt. Haberman was the guest speaker and talked to the chamber group about ways to prevent crime and lauded such people as Larry Gutridge, who was at the meeting and who is an employee with the Sheriff's Office. He oversees the forming of neighborhood groups and teaches them how to watch out for crime in their neighborhood.
Haberman noted that Lehigh has less crime now than Cape Coral and Fort Myers.