Florida Keys

He managed the Keys Dairy Queen. Cops say he helped robbers stick it up

Samuel Murray
Samuel Murray

The armed robbery of an Upper Florida Keys Dairy Queen last summer was an inside job, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

Detectives arrested Samuel James Murray, 26, on an armed robbery, kidnapping, burglary and aiding and abetting warrant in Miami-Dade County on Aug. 30.. He was brought to Stock Island jail on Tuesday and is being held on a $36,000 bond.

The robbery occurred at the Dairy Queen at 92661 Overseas Hwy. around 10:30 p.m. Aug. 13.

Murray, who lives in Homestead, was the manager on duty that night. Detectives were immediately suspicious of him following their interviews with him and his employees, after watching security camera footage showing him with other suspects in the crime and after checking his cellphone records.

Three robbers, entered the restaurant, which was closed for the day, through the unlocked back door, according to a probable cause report. They were dressed in black with their faces covered. Carrying handguns, they forced four employees, including Murray, to lie on the floor of the restaurant.

Detective Juan Morales stated in his probable cause affidavit that security video camera footage from inside the restaurant shows that one of the robbers, who police say is Raheim Whitney, 21, escorted Murray to the back office. Whitney, who was arrested in connection with the robbery in March, then places his gun down “in arm’s length of Murray,” and takes $2,000 from the safe, which was already open.

Also suspicious to deputies: The robbers took three of the employees’ cellphones, but did not take Murray’s.

Murray’s cellphone records show he made several phone calls to two of the suspects’ phones, including Whitney’s, 48 hours after the robbery. He also made 13 calls to a phone stolen from one of his employees, according to Morales’ report.

Dairy Queen security camera footage shows Murray meeting with three men, including Whitney, at the restaurant on Aug. 7, 2018, and again on Aug. 13, the day of the robbery, according to Morales’ report. One of the videos shows Whitney pointing out security camera locations to the other men, Morales wrote in his report.

The two other men who robbed the restaurant have not been arrested.