FORT MYERS, Fla. — The search is on for the two women Lee County Sheriff deputies say robbed two 7-Eleven gas stations in Fort Myers by gunpoint early Wednesday morning.
Investigators say not only did the women get away, they took cash and lottery tickets with them. It happened before 4:00 am when investigators say two women dressed in all black held up the 7-Eleven near Summerlin Rd with a handgun.
The pair didn't stop there, according to LCSO, 45 minutes later they did the same thing at a 7-Eleven on Palm Beach Blvd.
“We’re looking at three potentially linked armed robberies. We are talking about women that are armed and dangerous and know what they are doing,” said Trish Routte with Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers. "Female armed robbers are just not something you see every day, definitely unusual, but at the same token these women don’t look like they are newcomers, they definitely look like they know what they are doing.”
With two gas station robberies on two opposite sides of Lee County, investigators are starting to think that these are linked to a third one that happened two weeks ago.
"It’s the exact same M.O.," Routte said. "The demands were the exact same, same physical description, same handgun."
She said the robbery that took place two weeks ago was a man and a woman who walked into a 7-Eleven with a handgun and demanded money and lottery tickets and the woman of that robbery is believed to have taken part in the robberies Wednesday morning.
"They can’t really do anything about the lottery tickets. If we don’t sell them and we don’t activate them there is nothing much to them,” said Rita Rouke, an employee of a gas station that wasn't targeted. "Nowadays, people will do anything with these prices going up.”
In case you didn't know, lottery tickets do have to be activated and they can be tracked. Routte said she understood the cash but was confused about the stealing of the lottery tickets.
"You know what, some people know that they can be tracked, other people don’t necessarily understand that," said Dr. David Thomas, a Forensic Science Professor at FGCU and former police officer. "It’s like when you were a kid, and you did something wrong and your mom didn’t catch you—and you keep trying and you keep doing it until you finally get caught. Usually with robberies back to back like that it usually indicates some sort of drug use.”
Rita Rokue works at a gas, but not one of the 7-Elevens targeted. She tells us it's terrifying knowing two gas station employees were held at gunpoint.
“You think the person is friendly, and the next thing you know they are asking you for the money. I just think there should be…how can I say this…security,” Rouke said.
No one was hurt in the robberies but the women are wanted and considered to be armed and dangerous. If you have any information about any of these three robberies you are asked to call crime stoppers.