‘There are alligators in there!’ Burglary suspect jumps into canal to escape police

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The scene of an arrest after a suspect jumped into a Billy Creek.

A man was pulled out of Billy Creek after jumping in to avoid being arrested. It happened Friday afternoon after neighbors say he broke into a home.

The scene unfolded near Billie Street and Seaboard Street in Fort Myers, which is just north of Michigan Avenue.

A man who lives in one home said he saw the suspect looking inside his boat, so he asked him what he was doing and to leave.

The suspect told him he was just going for a swim – then asked if he could leave through the front.

Fifteen minutes later he was back again, this time running away from the police.

He jumped into the water to get away, while one witness said police yelled, “There are alligators in there. Get out!” But the suspect replied, “I don’t care. What if I want it to happen to me. Just leave me alone.”

Other nearby neighbors also say they saw him in their backyard earlier in the day – rummaging through sheds and attempting to steal canoes and boats.

Homeowner Bob Scheib’s boat was lowered into the water and had footprints all over the deck.

“He couldn’t start it because I had the kill switch. It’s in my shed. He couldn’t start it,” Scheibe said. “Otherwise this would have been gone.

Another neighbor said, “He had actually broken into this young woman’s house and her daughters were home so that’s why I took it upon myself to get into my own personal vehicle and kind of drive around probably about an hour.”

The suspect has been identified by police as William Monroe, 50.

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