A Cape Coral man is accused of following a woman home in a vehicle, then trying to rob her of her wallet and cell phone outside of her residence.
Brent Timothy Gerenda, 39, of 127 S.E. 42nd St., was arrested and charged Tuesday with one felony count of burglary with assault or battery. As of Wednesday, he remained in custody at the Lee County Jail on $5,000 bond.
At about 10 p.m. Tuesday, a 21-year-old woman was driving on Skyline Boulevard near Cape Coral Parkway when she noticed a vehicle following her. The driver was flashing the car's headlights and honking the horn at her.
Brent Theodore Gerenda
Believing that it was teens horsing around, she did not become concerned.
As the woman pulled into her driveway on El Dorado Parkway, she noticed that the vehicle that had been following her had pulled into the grass. A man exited the driver's seat and approached her vehicle, according to officials.
When the man got to her vehicle, her window was partially lowered.
The man reportedly reached into the car, grabbed the woman's sweatshirt and demanded that she give him her phone and wallet. He reportedly told her that he was armed with a gun and placed his one free hand behind his back.
The woman did not see a gun, but believed that the man was armed.
Able to dial her parents on her phone, she began honking her vehicle's horn and screaming for help. The man ran back to his car and fled as the woman's parents exited the home. The family called 911 and relayed the information.
Officers located a vehicle driving erratically on Cape Coral Parkway, officials reported. The driver, later identified as Gerenda, tried to evade police, but he was stopped over the Cape Coral Bridge near Camelot Drive. He was detained.
The woman was transported to the scene, where she reportedly identified Gerenda as the man who had tried to rob her outside of her residence.
Gerenda was arrested and charged and taken to jail.
Officials noted that no gun was located on him or in his car.
"This was outstanding old-fashioned police work," Cape police spokesman Lt. Tony Sizemore stated in a prepared statement. "A quick 911 call followed by equally quick action by our officers took a violent criminal off of our streets. Cape Coral is safer now that this guy is behind bars."
Gerenda has a court appearance scheduled Aug. 20.