CRIME

Are two sexual assaults in North Miami-Dade related? Police looking into possibility

 

cteproff@MiamiHerald.com

North Miami Beach police on Tuesday released new details about the abduction and rape of a woman leaving Macillon Grio Fish & Chicken last week.

Police said video from the alley behind the restaurant at 1026 North Miami Beach Blvd. shows two men forcing a woman into a car at gunpoint. The vehicle is described as a 2004 or 2005 Toyota Sienna van, dark in color and missing the right front hub cap.

A forensic artist was also able to draw a composite sketch of one of the men.

Police said the woman had just picked up food from the restaurant when two men, wearing black gloves and armed with handguns, forced her into the back seat of the van. They drove to the Oak Grove area in Northeast Miami-Dade, where they sexually assaulted her.

The woman was driven around to different gas stations and restaurants before being dropped off near her home.

Meanwhile, North Miami police are looking into whether the same men are responsible for an abduction in North Miami about a week before the North Miami Beach case.

According to North Miami police Maj. Neal Cuevas, a woman was abducted from her home at gunpoint at about 3:15 a.m. Jan. 11. The woman, who had just finished work and arrived at her home in the 1400 block of Northeast 121st Street, was forced back into her car and driven around.

At one point she was placed in the trunk of her car and one of the men got in with her and fondled her, Cuevas said.

Cuevas said the cases have some similarities including the manner of abduction and the fact that the women were driven around and dropped off near their homes.

“If these cases are connected it tells us that this is a group of individuals who have done it before and will continue to do it until they are caught,” he said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade CrimeStoppers at 305-471-8477. North Miami Beach Detective N. Morrison can also be reached at 305-949-5500.

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