‘There are alligators in there!’ Burglary suspect jumps into canal to escape police

A man was pulled out of Billy Creek after jumping in to avoid being arrested. It happened Friday afternoon after neighbors say he broke into a home.

The scene unfolded near Billie Street and Seaboard Street in Fort Myers, which is just north of Michigan Avenue.

A man who lives in one home said he saw the suspect looking inside his boat, so he asked him what he was doing and to leave.

The suspect told him he was just going for a swim – then asked if he could leave through the front.

Fifteen minutes later he was back again, this time running away from the police.

He jumped into the water to get away, while one witness said police yelled, “There are alligators in there. Get out!” But the suspect replied, “I don’t care. What if I want it to happen to me. Just leave me alone.”

Other nearby neighbors also say they saw him in their backyard earlier in the day – rummaging through sheds and attempting to steal canoes and boats.

Homeowner Bob Scheib’s boat was lowered into the water and had footprints all over the deck.

“He couldn’t start it because I had the kill switch. It’s in my shed. He couldn’t start it,” Scheibe said. “Otherwise this would have been gone.

Another neighbor said, “He had actually broken into this young woman’s house and her daughters were home so that’s why I took it upon myself to get into my own personal vehicle and kind of drive around probably about an hour.”

The suspect has been identified by police as William Monroe, 50.

The hours-long search for the suspect ended with this accused burglar in handcuffs.

Police say he broke into multiple homes and before diving into Billy Creek to escape.

Now, a woman says her daughter was asleep just feet from the suspect and sent WINK News video of him rummaging outside of her home along Rose Avenue in Fort Myers.

The family says the man went through their fridge, cooked food for himself, and drank their beverages. They also say he used their bathroom.

All of this before he stealing electronics, clothing and even toilet paper.

Police say William Monroe broke into multiple homes and cars, including two homes with people still inside of them.


WINK News spoke to a woman who had her home broken into earlier on Friday. She did not feel comfortable sharing her identity.

“Yes, I am very violated. because he took… also he took my kid’s clothes…. and took his Xbox. What else did he take? Laptops, yep, two laptops,” she said.

The woman says her daughter was sleeping when the man forced his way inside.

“I’m very nervous about living out here now,” the woman said.

Luckily, she says her oldest daughter was not hurt, and that’s something this mother is thankful for.

“I never leave my pot on the stove, so when I did go in there, there was a pot on the stove. The fridge had the …the tea was open because it was spilled. Food was already out,” she said. “So, yes, he did try to make himself at home. He had stolen toilet paper, towels, shower gel.”

She hopes to get back everything that was taken from her.

“I got some of it back. I’m missing one more thing. I’m missing one more thing and I’m still trying to figure out where it’s at. So, I already told the cops and they’re looking into it now,” said the woman.

That mother says she spent the entire day throwing everything away because she doesn’t know what all the suspect got his hands on.

Reporter:Morgan Rynor
Justin Kase
Writer:WINK News
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