Two people, one from Lehigh Acres, and the other from Immokalee, have been arrested and charged with breaking into a Lehigh home and stealing several items including a television, a skill saw, .40 caliber ammunition and other valuables. The break-in occurred on April 7 in broad daylight.
But the owners of the home on Glenquist Avenue South had a surprise for anyone who may try to break into their home - surveillance cams that clearly captured the two making an attempt to enter the home. One went through a window and opened a front door so the other could get inside. The videos of the suspects was very clear.
Arrested and charged with burglary of an unoccupied dwelling and grand theft were Martha Helton, 30, of 320 Helms Road, LaBelle, who turned herself in to Lee County detectives; and Vincent Montilongo, who was arrested at his home at 458 Bell Blvd.
PHOTO SPECIAL TO THE CITIZEN
One of the suspects in last week’s break-in of a home on Glenquist Avenue South is shown in this surveillance video, released by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
Both were in custody this past weekend, each under 10,000 bonds with first appearance before court on May 12.
Trish Routte, the coordinator of Crime Stoppers, quickly put out a news release last week with actual video surveillance tapes which appeared on local TV stations.
"Technology is a wonderful thing, and in this instance, we believe it was the key to finding out who the people were," Routte said. "We highly suspect this wasn't their first crime since they had the confidence to break into the house in the middle of the day and knew how to get in and out as quickly as possible."
Detectives working the case first thought the suspects were two men because of their appearance and the clothing they were wearing. However, one of the suspects was a woman and the other a man.
Detectives believed the pair had been casing the home on Glenquist Avenue South just prior to breaking in. The crime occurred shortly after noon on Monday.
They said the two, obviously not realizing there were cameras capturing their every move, smashed through a window at the back of the house, with the smaller of the two jumping through the window.
According to a news release put out shortly after the break-in, detectives said the suspect then opened the front door for the second person to easily get inside.
They said that within a total of six minutes from beginning to end, the pair was able to remove several valuable items.
Routte said Crime Stoppers issued an urgent plea for the public to get in touch with them if they recognized the two that were breaking into the house. A reward was offered for information and identities of the pair.
In the request made to the public, Routte said two unarmed suspects had been casing the home on Glenquist Ave South prior to breaking in.
People were asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-8477. It's the same number the public is asked to call if they have any information about any unsolved crime or have information that police need.
Routte said that as a result of many people calling Crime Stoppers, the arrests of two suspects was made possible.
"We appreciate the community's assistance in identifying these two suspected thieves," Routte said. "These two have changed the lives of a Lehigh Acres family and they deserve to face justice and the penalties that come with it for what they are accused of doing," she said.