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Miami Shores

Police: Robbery suspects tied to third case

 

mperez@elnuevoherald.com

The same men police believe responsible for two home-invasion robberies in Miami Shores and El Portal also may have committed a third robbery, according to police.

One of the men already has been arrested, and police say more arrests may follow.

In addition to the previously disclosed robberies on Aug. 13 and 19, police now think the men also robbed another married couple, Ileana and Jose Antonio Forment, when they were in their car in front of their house on 95th Street in the Shores on Aug. 18.

Among the items stolen from the Forments, whose description of the robbers matches those given by previous victims, was a credit card that one of the assailants used at a gas station with surveillance cameras.

The Miami Shores police said last week that the image of John Beaubrun, a young man arrested in connection with the robberies, was captured on a security video after they had traced the stolen credit card. The El Portal police declined to reveal whether the credit card belonged to the Forments, but the Miami Shores police chief, Kevin Lystad, said that they believe the same men committed all three robberies.

It all started for the Forments in the early morning hours of Aug. 18, when the couple arrived at their home from a party, Ileana Forment said.

The first assault in the area had taken place five days before at the home of Alejandro and Alysia Ortiz.

As in many previous occasions, Forment, 56, and her husband, 55, stayed in their car talking with the lights on, according to Forment. Their daughter, who suffers from autism, was sitting in the back seat.

Forment said that after about 15 minutes, two young men wearing hoodies moved closer and stood at both sides of the car, showed their weapons and began to hit the car doors, demanding that the couple open up.

From inside the car, Forment’s husband told them to calm down, that they would cooperate. One of the assailants pointed his gun at him and the other one pointed his at her.

“They were very relaxed,” Forment said. “And we also tried to stay calm.”

“I briefly thought they were going to shoot me. One never knows,” said José Antonio Forment. “Maybe that was my last moment in life.”

But the Forments focused on trying to talk to them and handle the situation.

“I didn’t want to die like that. I didn’t want my son to come home and find a tragedy,” Forment said. “I asked God to save us.”

At some point, the assailants tried to talk to the daughter and asked her to give them her earrings.

“My husband told them, ‘Listen, my daughter is disabled. She can’t talk,’ ” Ileana Forment said. “And they left her alone, didn’t try to harm her or open her door.”

The robbers asked them what they had at the house.

“We told them, ‘We have nothing. You already have everything. Please leave us alone. Go in peace and leave us alone.’ And they did,” Forment said.

The assailants told them not to look for 30 seconds. They threw her husband’s cell phone and the car keys to the ground and fled.

Forment said that, shortly after, they heard a vehicle, but they don’t know whether the men fled in a car or just walked away.

They took her handbag, her husband’s wallet, some jewelry, $25, a cellular phone and the credit cards.

The Forments ran to a neighbor’s house and asked them to call the police.

“We had no phone and no keys. They had left us with no wallet or bag,” Forment said. “The Miami Shores police arrived in a few minutes. They are great.”

Forment was able to speak to one of the credit card companies, and she was told that the card had been used at a gas station that had surveillance cameras.

Cpl. Manuel Casais, of the El Portal police, declined to say if it had been Forment’s credit card that had led them to Beaubrun. He said that part of the information is being kept secret because they are working on several tips that they hope will soon lead to additional arrests.

Chief Lystad believes that there are more crimes linked to the suspects and that they need to continue their investigation.

Forment thinks it was Beaubrun who pointed a gun at her. “I am happy for the community,” she said about the arrest. “We want them all arrested so the people of this community can live in peace again.”

Forment said that in the 20 years they have lived in Miami Shores she had never been afraid of going out late at night. Now she has put up big lights at the front of the house. “I have had trouble sleeping at night. I just walk around in the house,” she said. “I have no peace.”

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