Rash of Lee County bank robberies keep investigators busy

Reporter: Kristi Gross
Published: Updated:
Police released a surveillance photo of a man robbing the Wells Fargo Bank on Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers on Dec. 21, 2015. Photo: Fort Myers police.

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Lee County authorities have investigated more than a half-dozen bank robberies within the past four months.

Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Molloy, now a defense attorney,  says bank robberies tend to increase during the end of the year despite it being a crime with one of the highest conviction rates.

“Banks keep very little money on hand for these type of circumstances so anybody thinking that they’re going to make a big score is dead wrong,” he said.

That hasn’t stopped thieves throughout the region from trying – eight bank robberies have been reported in Lee County within the last four months, including one Tuesday evening.

More bank robberies could happen before the end of the year as criminals get more desperate to provide for their families or satisfy drug addictions, Molly said.

“There are people that find themselves in extremely desperate circumstances,” he said. “So they’re willing to do something that is just, first of all they’re so easily caught and second, the penalties, especially if you use a weapon are really, really severe and so it’s a no-win situation,”

Lee County Sheriff’s Office investigators have solved three of the five bank robberies within its jurisdiction this year.

Fort Myers police have three unsolved bank robbery investigations prior to December, but department spokesman Sgt. Det. Victor Medico said officers have made arrests on all other bank robberies inside city limits within the past three years.

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