Antonio Thomas, a 29-year-old transient, faces charges including kidnapping, rape and murder stemming from a nine-day spree of terror,police say.
"This is a vicious killer...who ravaged innocent victims in the community," said Sheriff Mike Scott at a joint news conference also featuring Fort Myers Police Chief Doug Baker and Cape Coral Police Chief Jay Murphy.
Scott called the arrest a unified effort among the agencies.
Detectives say the rash of violent crimes included an attempted carjacking June 13 at a 7-Eleven in North Fort Myers where the female victim fought off the attack and escaped.
On June 15, detectives say Thomas carjacked a woman in North Fort Myers and beat her severely. She was able to jump out of the moving vehicle and escape.
On June 20, a woman was discovered beaten, raped and murdered behind an auto parts store in North Fort Myers. Detectives say Thomas is responsible.
On June 22, detectives say Thomas broke into a home in the Dean Park area of Fort Myers and beat and stabbed a woman before stealing her car. He is then accused of abducting a 15-year-old girl several miles away and forcing her into the vehicle. She, too, was able to escape.
Veteran sheriff's detective Bill Kalstrom said the spree is "nothing that we've ever seen" in Lee County. Kalstrom said Thomas would likely have killed his other victims had they not escaped.
Scott said all victims were random, which makes the crimes even more chilling.
"He's caged like an animal," Scott said. "He's not going anywhere."