Cape Coral Police Department
Public Affairs Office
1100 Cultural Park Blvd
Cape Coral, FL 33990
Cape Coral Police Use DNA to Solve Two Felony Crimes
(June 7, 2013)- Cape Coral Police Detectives have used DNA technology to solve a residential burglary that occurred in September of last year and an armed robbery of a convenience store that occurred in January of this year.
On September 17th of 2012, officers investigated a home break-in at 2551 Hopefield Court. The suspect entered the home and made off with a flat-panel TV, expensive sunglasses and various electronics. The suspect cut himself while making entry through a broken window.
Forensics Personnel collected a few small droplets of blood that were left behind. The blood evidence was submitted to CODIS, the FBI’s Combined DNA Identification System. CODIS is a database of DNA profiles of offenders.
Detectives were informed that there was a match to the sample submitted on the case. The DNA of the blood was that of Michael Anthony Zeff, 28, of North Fort Myers. Detectives now had probable cause to arrest Zeff for the burglary. On June 6th, Zeff was located in the Lee County Jail (where he was due to unrelated charges) and arrested for Burglary of a dwelling and grand theft.
On January 15th, officers responded to an armed robbery at the Hess Station located at 1020 Santa Barbara Blvd. The clerk reported that a male suspect entered the store and robbed them at gunpoint. The suspect, who was wearing gloves and had his face covered, made off with $56 cash.
Officers scoured the area and found a pickup truck leaving the neighborhood behind the Hess store. Upon contact with the occupants of the truck, officers noted that the passenger, Robert McDougall was acting very nervous and was sweating profusely and his hands were shaking. The driver and McDougall gave conflicting accounts of why they were creeping around behind a business at 2:30am. The driver and McDougall were arrested for loitering and prowling. Both men denied any involvement in the armed robbery that had occurred moments earlier.
Several hours later in the day, a neighbor called police to report that she had found clothing and gloves in her yard which is close to the Hess station. The clothing and gloves were the same as described in the robbery.
The clothes and gloves were taken by Forensics and processed for evidence. The inside of the gloves were swabbed for DNA and the sample was submitted to the FDLE crime lab for comparison to McDougall and his companion on the early morning of January 15th.
On May 15th, the results from the lab returned and it was determined that the DNA sample submitted was a match for Robert McDougall. Detectives now had probable cause to arrest him for the armed robbery.
McDougall was in the Lee County Jail on unrelated charges when Cape Coral Police Detectives arrested him yesterday, June 8th on charges of robbery with a firearm.
“These cases prove that DNA science can have an impact on solving crime. These are two robbers and burglars that might have escaped justice without these scientific crime fighting tools. The US Supreme Court’s decision earlier this week about DNA collection coupled with talented officers, detectives and forensics personnel will have a noticeable impact on crimes here in Cape Coral”-Lieutenant Tony Sizemore.
Michael Anthony Zeff 10/15/84
North Fort Myers, FL 33917
Robert Raymond McDougall 02/11/91
227 SE 29th Street
Cape Coral, FL 33993