On May 22, 2019, Cape Coral Police responded to a call for service on SW 33rd Ter in reference to a burglary.
A neighbor noticed the front screen door was open, that there was a broken window in the rear, and two window screens removed.
When Cape Coral Fire Department personnel entered the home, they discovered clothing and papers had been ignited in the master bedroom, which created a fire. The fire appeared to have extinguished itself due to lack of oxygen or lack of an accelerant. They also noticed shoe prints throughout soot on the floors as they made entry. Officers entered to ensure that a suspect was not still in the residence. They noticed that the residence appeared to have been ransacked prior to the fire being set.
Detective Kurt Grau of the Property Crimes Unit arrived on scene and took over the investigation. Cape Coral Police Department Forensics arrived to process the scene, a Fire Inspector with the Cape Coral Fire Department and the State Fire Marshall also came to the scene to investigate.
The victims had been in another state about a week before this incident. A 1997 Mazda Miata convertible had been stolen from the garage, a television, DVD player and costume jewelry were also discovered stolen.
The original release can be found here.
The license plate for the stolen Mazda Miata was entered into the License Plate Reader system and was recorded on downtown Cape Coral stationary cameras along SE 47th Terrace at 3 different times on May 21st. The license plate readers did not record the vehicle again after that date.
On May 31st, Cape Coral Police released information to the public through a News Release that we were attempting to locate the vehicle. Several anonymous tips were received that the vehicle had possibly been seen coming/going from 1005 SW 33rd Street and was parked in the garage of the residence. Detective Kurt Grau began to investigate Mateo Arias-Hernandez (W/M, DOB: 09/17/1994, 1005 SW 33rd ST) as the suspect for the crimes.
On June 3rd, the stolen Mazda Miata was located at a construction site a half mile from Mateo’s residence, by the construction foreman. Forensic Specialists obtained several latent fingerprints that were recovered from the inside of the Miata which was a match to Mateo.
On June 8th, Detective Grau developed probable cause to arrest Mateo and met him at his residence where he was placed under arrest.
Arias-Hernandez was charged with Burglary of a Dwelling, Arson, Grand Theft Auto, Grand Theft, and Criminal Mischief over $1,000.
He was later transferred to Lee County Jail.
CAPE CORAL POLICE DEPARTMENT | Public Affairs Office | 1100 Cultural Park Boulevard | Cape Coral, FL 33990 | (239) 242-3341