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Police file 31 charges against Cape man for burglaries

By Staff | Dec 16, 2008

Police have filed 31 charges against a Cape Coral man accused in a series of home burglaries committed over a four-month period.
Richard Joel Stringfellow, 27, of 3303 S.W. Ninth Ave., faces 13 counts of burglary of an unoccupied dwelling, 13 counts of grand theft and four counts of dealing in stolen property related to burglaries at 13 residences in the Cape, according to police. He also is charged with petit theft.
All of the burglaries reportedly occurred during the daytime hours, and most of the items were taken from open garages.
Stringfellow originally was arrested by Cape police for stealing two American chrome racing wheels and Dunlop tires from a residence on Southwest 39th Street on Sept. 23, according to police. He was confronted by the homeowner, who arrived at his residence to witness Stringfellow loading the tires into a Ford Explorer. Stringfellow fled from the scene, however, the homeowner obtained the license plate number on the Explorer.
During the course of the investigation, Detective Jason Hicks developed Stringfellow as a possible suspect in the burglary at the Southwest 39th Street residence as well as several other home burglaries.
On Nov. 7, Hicks and Detective Alisha McDonald met with Stringfellow at his residence. Stringfellow reportedly directed the detectives to his garage, which contained numerous stolen items including fishing equipment, generators, pressure washers, lawn equipment and an outboard motor. Police said the chrome wheels and tires were found inside the garage, and Stringfellow admitted he had stolen them.
Stringfellow reportedly agreed to ride with detectives and point out several residences that he had burglarized in the Cape. Hicks spent the next few weeks identifying the owners of the stolen property, some of which was located at a local pawn shop. The investigation resulted in the felony charges and clearing of 13 open burglary cases.
Stringfellow, who had been out on bail, was arrested for violation of probation. He remained in the Lee County Jail on Monday evening, according to police.