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Authorities seek man believed responsible for car burglaries in north Cape

By Staff | Mar 4, 2010

The auto burglary suspect caught on video at a north Cape home.

An armed man is responsible for at least five vehicle burglaries in northwest Cape Coral and possibly other areas, according to authorities.
Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help to identify a man caught on surveillance video breaking into a vehicle in the 2200 block of Northwest Seventh Terrace in early February. In the video, the man is armed with a black handgun that is tucked into the back of his pants.
The man is described as a white, in his early to mid 20s, with a medium build and approximately 6 feet tall.
“This guy is definitely linked to five (burglaries), but most likely more than that,” said Trish Routte, coordinator for Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers. “There’s been similar activity in that area prior to and after that occurred.”
The homeowner, who has surveillance cameras hooked up to his residence, caught the man on video approach the home and begin checking the handles on six vehicles parked in the driveway. The man eventually came across the sport utility vehicle and entered through the front passenger door.
“This one happened to be unlocked,” Routte said.
The man remained inside the SUV for nearly 12 minutes before exiting the vehicle through the rear passenger door. Routte did not know if anything had been stolen from the SUV or other burglarized vehicles. She said the vehicles were broken into around the same time and in the same area.
According to Routte, detectives with the Cape Coral Police Department say the man is responsible for a handful of recent vehicle burglaries in the north Cape and could possibly have targeted other areas.
“There’s been similar crimes in that area and we don’t think this is an isolated incident,” Routte said. “In this case, the homeowner did happen to have surveillance cameras around the house, so fortunately we were actually able to catch this guy in the act.”
What is alarming for authorities is the fact that the man has a gun.
“You’ve got somebody who’s very serious about what he’s doing. He’s armed with a weapon,” she said. “Any time you’ve got somebody committing crimes and they’re armed with a firearm, there’s always a potential for danger.”
Routte said the weapon is easily accessible if the man is confronted.
“You’ve got a car burglary situation that could turn into a shooting,” she said. “The level of danger increases from a random car burglary to the potential of something much more serious.”
Authorities are hoping the public might recognize the man or the handgun tucked into the back of his pants. Anyone with information is asked to call Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at (800) 780-TIPS (8477).
“Sometimes the slightest bit of information can be pieced together to link someone to it,” Routte said.
All callers will remain anonymous and will be eligible for up to $1,000 in cash rewards. Tips may also be made online at: www.swflcrimestoppers.org.