LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Authorities are investigating a possible link between two recent crimes, as they continue to work to identify the suspects. Surveillance photos and video 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-in on May 9th at the Tienda Cultural De Guatemala convenience store located at 4515 Palm Beach Boulevard. Security cameras both inside and outside the business captured images of two black men entering the business through the roof, then methodically rummaging through the business, hitting the register drawer, and removing cash, while carefully wiping any handprints off the counter.
"They pull the air conditioners off the top of these flat buildings and go in through the roofs. It's actually probably been going on for a good 20 years around here," Gerald Arthur, a neighbor shop owner, said.
The thieves left with an undisclosed amount of cash, as well as a DVD player and several other items. Still shots from the surveillance cameras perched outside the business show a very clear picture of one of the suspects.
The store's owner said they were hit four times between April and May. The family is out close to $3,000 between the cost to repair their roof and the stolen cash.
Three weeks later, on May 30th, two black males boldly robbed a Cape Coral home at 702 SW 11th Street. The homeowner told police she opened the front door after someone rang the doorbell in the early afternoon hours. Upon opening the door, the resident observed a black male, dressed in a suit, holding a briefcase and armed with a handgun. The suspect forced his way into the house, followed by a second male, who held a second victim to the ground at gunpoint. Seconds later, the suspects fled the scene, but not before home surveillance cameras snapped clear shots of the suspects.
Detectives with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and the Cape Coral Police Department believe the suspects in both of these cases are the same men. 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.
Anyone with information on either, or both, of these unsolved crimes, or the men involved in them, 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 or by texting a tip to CRIMES (274637) Keyword: REWARD.