Four tourists robbed at gunpoint. Another victim, a local, was punched and dragged
The robbery spree covered 20 blocks in just over an hour and grew increasingly violent each time a victim was attacked. Now, Miami Beach police have released a video of the last assault in hope that the public might help avert another one.
In three separate instances on Sunday, two men accosted people walking on South Beach. In the first hold-up, the suspects showed the gun. In the second, one of the men pointed it at the victim's stomach. During the third attack, a woman was punched in the head and dragged on the sidewalk.
"The most amount of violence was the last robbery," said Miami Beach police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez. "We do consider these subjects armed and dangerous and we don't know what they're capable of."
In total, the suspects got away with $760 in cash and a purse.
The first attack happened just before 3 a.m. on Third Street and Ocean Drive. The victims, who were on vacation from London, told police they walked between the two men when one of them flashed a silver firearm and said "give me whatever you have." The men handed over $60 and the duo headed west.
Thirty minutes later on Euclid Avenue between Seventh and Eighth streets, police found two more tourists, also from England, who they suspect were robbed by the same two males. The female victim said she had just gotten out of an Uber and was looking down at a text on her cellphone when two men in front of her said, "Give me your phone. Give me your phone."
One of the suspects pointed a silver semi-automatic pistol at her stomach and again demanded her phone. As she handed it over, she told police, another male reached into her purse and grabbed $200. Both men again fled west, the victims told police.
The third instance happened on Washington Avenue and 16th Street and it was captured on surveillance video. The video shows a man walking along the sidewalk, going out of view, then re-emerging with a woman he's dragging and whose purse he's trying to steal.
Police said that the woman was on the phone with her mother when the suspect demanded she hand over her purse. She refused and yelled for the police. The suspect then punched the woman in the head and grabbed her purse. She fell and scraped her knees.
She followed the man who stole her purse for several blocks. When he reached Drexel Avenue and 16th Street, the suspect got into the passenger side of a black vehicle. Police believe the suspect's partner was the driver. Inside the woman's purse, other than personal belongings, was $500 in cash.
The Beach resident said she's lived there for three years and walks home each night from work. She's not doing that anymore, she said.
"Not anymore. After this, I'm no longer going to walk," she said. "I'm fine. I can walk. I can work. He just grabbed my bag. I never saw a gun."