Published: Aug 09, 2011 4:45 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 09, 2011 9:26 PM EDT

CAPE CORAL, Fla.- The Cape Coral Police Department has named Detective Michael Toleman Officer of the Month and Public Service Aide Mary Schwartz was awarded Employee of the Month for their roles in arresting John Michael Coppertino for several home break-ins.

Throughout the months of June and July, the Central District of the city was being plagued with residential burglaries. There was limited information gathered through canvasses and no physical evidence leading to any suspects. Part of the limited information was a suspicious vehicle that had been seen in the area of one of the break-ins. Detective Toleman knew that a known burglar drove a similar car to the one described by a witness.

Detective Toleman began following up on his “hunch” and discovered that the car was being driven by John Coppertino. After further investigation into this lead, Coppertino became a prime suspect in the break-ins and he was subsequently arrested. Coppertino was charged with 8 counts of residential burglary, 9 counts of grand theft and 6 counts of dealing in stolen property.

PSA Schwartz conducted the preliminary investigation on one of the home burglaries in which Coppertino became a suspect. When Detectives initially interviewed him about the crime, Coppertino denied any involvement in the burglary. PSA Schwartz processed the original scene for fingerprints and lifted nine prints from the scene. One was from the dresser and two were from the front door.

The prints were submitted to Forensics for analysis and were a match for Coppertino. Because of PSA Schwartz’ quality work, Detective Toleman was able to add another burglary charge to the suspect.

“We are proud of the hard work and teamwork displayed in this investigation. Detective Toleman and PSA Schwartz are very deserving of their recognition and we congratulate them. The citizens of Cape Coral have some quality individuals on their side," said Lieutenant Tony Sizemore.