LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Crime Stoppers is asking for the public's help tracking down a convicted felon, accused of committing at least two burglaries in the last week, and whose efforts to avoid arrest resulted in the lock down of a local elementary school and day care facility earlier this week.
Vernon Jackson, DOB 5/22/56, currently faces arrest for two counts of burglary and two counts of larceny grand theft. According to deputies, Jackson broke into a home on Carmen Avenue on September 16. When homeowners spotted him, he ran out of the house and managed to escape before deputies arrived on the scene. The next night, he's accused of going back to the same neighborhood, this time breaking into a house directly across the street from the one he entered the night before. In that instance, the victim wasn't home at the time. Jackson is believed to have smashed through a window, taken numerous items from the house before exiting through the side garage door.
On Tuesday, September 21, deputies spotted Jackson in the Harlem Heights area, which prompted a late afternoon lock down of Heights Elementary School and Bright Horizons Day Care. After a thorough search both on land and in the air, it was determined that Jackson had managed to avoid arrest once again. As of this morning, he is still on the run. Detectives believe Jackson is hiding out in either the Harlem Heights area, or in Lehigh.
Jackson is a familiar face to law enforcement, having been arrested 18 times before on charges including aggravated assault, fraud, narcotics possession, several counts of burglary and multiple charges for battery. His last arrest was just over a month ago, when he was jailed for loitering.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Vernon 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 up to $1,000. Tips may also be made online at www.swflcrimestoppers.org.