Fort Myers’ real time Crime Center helps solve crimes
Surveillance cameras in downtown Fort Myers are helping to solve crimes with the help of the Crime Center working around the clock.
The cameras they use aren’t just any cameras, the images are crystal clear.
Earlier this week, a man used a counterfeit bill to steal tips out of the jar at an ice cream shop. The cameras helped determine what car he was driving and witnesses that were around at the time.
Fort Myers police officers watch the screens in the crime center and pay attention for any crime in progress.
“We can track people, we can track cars, we can track the tag number all,” said Fort Myers police Det. David Dietz. “That leads us to usually getting a good identification of a suspect or witnesses.”
Dietz is a general crimes detective who depends on the officers in the real-time crime center. He used the video they record to work his cases.
“The real-time crime center investigators, they’ll try to find anything related to what we’re talking about,” Dietz said.
It’s something that reassures downtown business leaders like Steven Shea, manager of the Seed and Bean Market.
“To have that peace of mind knowing that should anything happen that we don’t want there’s a way to go back and find out who is responsible,” Shea said.
Dietz can’t talk about active cases like the hunt for the man who stole tip jar money and passed counterfeit bills but he did explain how the cameras helped him make an attempted murder case in 2017.
They caught the suspect on camera from start to finish.
“There was one individual, in particular, that was shot downtown and with the cameras what would’ve probably been just an aggravated battery with the cameras we were actually able to show the individual having an argument with the victim and then sitting, lying in wait and then stalking the individual before actually committing the crime,” Dietz said.
The cameras caught a man driving away after ripping off a rolex. What made the case was the suspect did the same thing in Virginia, driving the same car.
Fort Myers police say these cameras and shot spotter technology are helping them clear more cases.