Guilty as Charged for Fort Myers Store Robbery

Rfeal Wigfals faces a mandatory life sentence as a Prison Releasee Re-Offender after being found guilty as charged of Robbery with a Deadly Weapon While Masked and Possession of a Firearm or Ammunition by a Convicted Felon While Masked. The guilty verdict came following a two-day trial that ended Friday.

The crime happened in 2017 in the Dunbar area of Fort Myers. Wigfals entered a Family Dollar Store as employees were closing the store. One employee was on the phone with her daughter at the time who heard the beginning of the robbery taking place in the background. The daughter immediately called 911 and then, while still on the phone with 911, used another phone to call her father. Her father lives around the corner from the store and was awake, waiting for his wife to get home from work.

He rushed to the store and as he pulled up in his truck, the headlights caused the defendant to look to the front door. The store manager, who was at gunpoint being asked to open the store safe, saw this as his opportunity to try to get the gun out of the defendant’s hand. He lunged for the weapon but was only able to control the defendant’s arm and where he was pointing the gun.

The husband of the clerk saw the struggle inside and rushed into the store, tackling the defendant and manager inadvertently to the ground. He was able to get the gun out of the defendant’s hand. He continued to detain the defendant, demanding to know where his wife was. Officers with the Fort Myers Police Department arrived as this was going on and took Wigfals into custody.

It all happened so fast, with such a quick response from police, the defendant still had his mask
on. The manager was okay and the clerk was safe as she had previously run to a back room and
locked herself inside. The trial was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorneys Christine Cummins
and Erin Hughes. Sentencing is scheduled for August 26th.

Samantha Syoen
Communications Director
State Attorney’s Office
ssyoen@sao.cjis20.org
239-533-1125