On Saturday, August 23, 2014, at approximately 5:57 p.m., offices with the Fort Myers Police Department responded to a robbery at Cricket Wireless located at 4398 Palm Beach Boulevard. Two female employees were inside the store during the robbery and provided a description of the perpetrator. The suspect entered the business armed with a handgun and demanded money. The victims provided a description of the male and his last know direction of travel. Officers and investigators spent hours canvasing the area searching for possible witnesses or video images of the suspect. The victims provided detailed statements that led officers to a nearby business where the perpetrator was observed prior to the robbery. Officers were able to review the video and capture an image of the suspect as well as partial description of the vehicle. A BOLO (Be On the lookout) was generated to all officers within the area based on the information obtained.
On Sunday, August 24, 2014, at approximately 4:00 a.m., Sergeant Ramy Moussa of the Fort Myers Police Department located the vehicle matching the description given in the BOLO at 742 Pondellla Road. Officers and deputies with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office made contact with the vehicles owner who advised she leant her vehicle to her neighbor Janelle and her boyfriend Orlando. Officers and deputies proceeded to 748 Pondella Road, Apartment 223, were they attempted to make contact with Janelle and Orlando. Upon sight of law enforcement, both Janelle and Orlando retreated to a rear bedroom and refused to make contact with the officers. Officers were able to identify the male as Orlando Jose Mercado (DOB 10/28/1986). The female was identified as Janelle Gayler (DOB 07/26/1988).
Investigators contacted the two victims from the Cricket Wireless robbery and both positively identified Mercado as the person who committed the robbery on August 23rd. Based on the totality of information obtained during this investigation, detectives obtained a warrant for Mercado’s arrest. With the assistance of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Mercado surrendered peacefully to police and was placed under arrest. Mercado was transported to the Fort Myers Police Department where he provided a full confession to the robbery at the Cricket Wireless. Mercado was also charged with an armed robbery that occurred on August 4, 2014 at the Mobil gas station located at 2240 Park 82 Drive. Mercado provided a full confession to his involvement in that robbery as well.
“As a result of our relentless investigation by our detectives, some great police work by Sergeant Moussa and great teamwork with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, this dangerous and violent offender is now off the streets,” said Fort Myers Police Lieutenant Jay Rodriguez.