BONITA SPRINGS, Fla.- On Thursday, at approximately 10:39 a.m., the Lee County Sheriff’s Office received a call regarding an armed robbery that had just taken place at the Babies 2 Kidz consignment store in Bonita Springs.
The victim, 30-year-old Jose Antonio Ortega Jr., stated he was holding a child as he was opening the business for the day. While at the front door, he was approached from behind by an unknown black male wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and black hat. The male immediately placed a handgun against his back and demanded the bank deposit bag Ortega was carrying. Ortega said he dropped the bag which contained approximately $750.00 in cash. The black male grabbed the bag and ran southbound on Old 41.
The Lee County Sheriff's Office Canine and Aviation Units responded and conducted a search of the area for the suspect, but were unable to locate anyone matching the suspect description.
Ortega provided a statement and a detailed description of the suspect that robbed him. He stated he wished to press charges against anyone responsible for this crime. Ortega was advised multiple times of the penalties for providing a false statement to a law enforcement officer. Ortega was adamant he had provided a truthful statement and was truly the victim of an armed robbery.
On Tuesday, the detective assigned to the case was contacted by Ortega's close friend and the owner of Babies to Kidz. The owner stated that Ortega had confessed to him over the weekend that he had fabricated the entire robbery due to owing money to a drug dealer.
Detectives immediately made contact with Ortega who stated that he was willing to meet with the detective and provide a truthful statement about what had taken place.
Ortega met with detectives at the Babies to Kidz consignment store where he admitted he fabricated the entire report of the armed robbery. He stated he had accompanied a friend to purchase drugs from drug dealer several months ago. Apparently, payment for the drug transaction was never completed and the drug dealer wanted his money. Since Ortega was present during the drug buy, the dealer vowed to get the money from him. Ortega stated that on the day of the reported robbery, he was approached by the drug dealer who again asked for the money that was owed to him. The drug dealer then inquired about the money bag Ortega was holding. At that time, Ortega stated the money in the bag was money which belonged to his friend, but he decided to give all of the cash from the money bag to the drug dealer anyway.
Ortega acknowledged he had been warned several times about the penalty for providing a false statement to a law enforcement officer.
Ortega was subsequently charged with Making a False Report and transported to the Lee County Jail.