Armed robbers prompt Crime Stoppers plea

John Rinkenbaugh

Photo: Video by fox4now.com

Armed robbers prompt Crime Stoppers plea

CREATED Oct. 19, 2013 - UPDATED: Oct. 20, 2013

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Two armed robberies two nights in a row at two different gas stations has prompted Crime Stoppers to ask the public for help.

Investigators believe the two crimes, one in Fort Myers and one in Lehigh Acres are related.

The crime first occurred at 8:39 p.m. on Wednesday at the Marathon gas station located at 2938 Fowler Street.  A male, wearing black coveralls and a black ski mask aggressively approached the clerk with a silver handgun demanding money.  The clerk complied and the man fled on foot.

The next night, around 9:50 p.m., a man fitting the same physical description, wearing identical clothing, and brandishing a similar gun, entered the Shell/Lehigh Express at 1626 Meadow Road in Lehigh, and ordered both clerks to empty the till and give him all the cash.  Despite the fact that multiple witnesses were in the store during both robberies, the suspect reportedly was confident and quick – each time leaving the store in less than a minute.

“There are far too many similarities between the two robberies to think that they are not related,” said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator. “Detectives from both the Fort Myers Police Department and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office have compared notes, and they strongly believe that they’re both looking for the same man.  And given the brazen, confident actions of this individual, there remains a strong probability that he’ll do it again.”

Anyone with information on this violent crime 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.

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