An off-duty Cape Coral police volunteer helped officers nab an alleged burglar in a brazen daytime break-in.
At 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Rob Baribault - the volunteer and a retired police officer - was cutting his grass when he noticed a suspicious car pull into the driveway of his neighbor's residence in the 3600 block of Southwest Seventh Place. Baribault knew the car was suspicious because the homeowner is away in Germany.
Baribault noted the vehicle's description and tag number and went to investigate. He noted that the rear slider doors had been pried open, and that a man inside of the home was making his way to the front door.
Anthony Louis Longo
Baribault confronted the man at the front door and asked who he was and why he was in the home. The man identified himself as Anthony, and reportedly said he was the homeowner's cousin. Baribault, relying on years of police experience, believed that it was a lie and called police.
He provided a description of Anthony, as well as his car.
Moments later, officers in the area located the car and pulled it over. Anthony Louis Longo, 21, of 3608 S.W. Seventh Place, was identified as the occupant.
Detectives interviewed Longo, who reportedly admitted to breaking into the home. He was arrested and charged with burglary and grand theft, then transported to the Lee County Jail.
"This crime was solved because of the vigilance of the neighbor, who happens to be one of our fantastic police volunteers. Rob takes ownership in his neighborhood and knows what looks out of place," Lt. Tony Sizemore, spokesman for the CCPD, said. "When he saw something out of the ordinary, he didn't hesitate to call us. That's what solves crimes and keeps this community safe."
"It sure doesn't hurt that Mr. Baribault still has his police instincts, either," Sizemore added.