The sharing of intelligence information on recent cases may have formed a link between two recent crimes, and now Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public's help putting names with the faces.
Surveillance photos from a business burglary in Tice and a home invasion robbery in Cape Coral show distinct similarities in looks and mannerisms of the men involved with both crimes.
The first crime was an early morning break on May 9 at the Tinda Cultural De Guatemala, at 4515 Palm Beach Blvd., Fort Myers.
Surveillance photo from the May 9 at the Tinda Cultural De Guatemala in Fort Myers.
Security cameras inside and outside the business captured images of two black men entering the business through the roof, then rummaging through the business, hitting the register drawer and removing cash, while carefully wiping handprints off the counter.
The thieves left with an undisclosed amount of cash, as well as a DVD player and several other items.
On May 30 in the Cape, two black men boldly robbed a home at 702 S.W. 11th St. The resident reported that she opened the front door after someone rang the doorbell in the early afternoon hours.
Upon opening the door, the resident observed a man, dressed in a suit, holding a briefcase and armed with a handgun. The man forced his way into the house, followed by a second man, who held a second victim to the ground at gunpoint.
Seconds later, the men fled the scene, but not before home surveillance cameras snapped clear shots of the two men.
Detectives with the Lee County Sheriff's Office and the Cape Coral Police Department believe the suspects in both cases are the same.
The men in both instances seem well versed in the ways of crime and one suspect even appears to possibly be wearing the same purple shirt during both crimes.
"Criminals don't know boundaries, and certainly don't confine themselves to exclusive areas or communities," said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers coordinator. "This is a great example of how information sharing amongst law enforcement agencies can link multiple cases by working together."
Anyone with information on the unsolved crimes or the men involved in them is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (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 at: www.swflcrimestoppers.org or by texting a tip to CRIMES (274637) Keyword: REWARD.