Second suspect identified in August Italian ice shop robbery

Erica Bendlin

Erica Bendlin

Shawndell “KT” Deandre McCann

Shawndell “KT” Deandre McCann

Italian ice shop robbery suspect


Italian ice shop robbery suspect

Naples police have arrested a second suspect in the robbery of an Italian ice shop last August.

Erica Bendlin, 18, of the 4400 block of Robin Avenue, East Naples, is accused of armed robbery following the Aug. 23 holdup of Rita’s Italian Ice, 2045 U.S. 41, where she was an employee.

The robber, who got away with $1,060, wore a ski mask, brandished what appeared to be a submachine gun and demanded Bendlin and another employee open a safe for him, according to reports.

But detectives later obtained phone records that showed Bendlin and others coordinating the robbery through text messages. Shawndell “KT” Deandre McCann, 20, who is dating another Rita’s employee, was identified as a suspect two weeks ago by Naples police.

Detectives said Bendlin went along with the holdup planned by McCann and another man, providing the safe code when the robber demanded money. Surveillance footage shows her looking out the back door and talking to someone outside immediately before the shop was robbed, indicating she knew it was about to occur, according to police.

During the robbery, McCann brandished a pellet gun that looked like a submachine gun, according to reports. Phone records show him texting a friend the day before the robbery to ask for a fake gun — “sumthing heavy dat looks real.”

McCann, who is jailed in Lee County on an unrelated charge, has a warrant out for his arrest on armed robbery.

When McCann’s girlfriend expressed discomfort about her workplace being robbed and asked how long it would take, McCann told her a robbery “aint (expletive) easy it takes time,” phone records show.

Bendlin’s text messages also showed her telling McCann detectives were on their way to talk to him and asking him to spray down any evidence and hide it outside.

As of late Thursday, Bendlin remained at the Naples Jail Center in lieu of $25,000 bond. No other suspects mentioned in police reports have been arrested in connection with the robbery.

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