Masked gunmen target businesses on Palm Beach Boulevard

Posted at 6:27 PM, Aug 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-01 07:25:41-04

Over the past month there's been a pattern of masked gunmen targeting businesses along Palm Beach Boulevard in Fort Myers, according to Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers.

The latest heist happened Tuesday night at a Hardee's restaurant along Palm Beach Blvd and Richmond Avenue.

Images released by Crime Stoppers shows a male with a bandana covering his nose and mouth, pointing a gun at a store employee.   The suspect is described as a light-skinned black male, between 22 and 24 years old; roughly 5'8" and 6'0" with a thin to average build.

The Hardee's hold up is one of at least four businesses that have been hit by armed, masked robbers.

"Are you kidding me? When did that happen? I don't want to come back" said Hardee's customer Dale Tolley.

On August 20th, a Dominoes Pizza in the 4900 block of Palm Beach Blvd was also robbed at gun point by masked men.  Two weeks before that incident, two masked men broke through the glass door of a Sir Pizza in the 13000 block of Palm Beach Boulevard.
Authorities believe the same people are responsible for breaking into a storage unit that same day.

"These are definitely well skilled criminals," said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator.

Route says all of these incidents aren't related, but there's definitely a pattern with these crooks.   "If there's one thing we can definitely say is related in all of these cases is that the people committing these crimes know what they're doing," said Trish, "Most time's they're getting in and out in a minute, 90 seconds."

In all of the robberies and burglaries the men cover all or most of their face's, but authorities believe someone will recognize something about these people and bring them to justice.

"Once we can get an idea on these guys I'm pretty sure we're going to find out they're repeat offenders; this is not their first time," said Routte.