Police who had released a video of a registered sex offender who allegedly ripped off a Kendall vitamin store three weeks ago and hurt an employee he threw to the ground, found the man at his home Thursday morning and arrested him.
According to police, Darrin Galarza, 31, entered a GNC vitamin store at Town & Country Mall with a young girl on March 30 and asked for some pills that were behind a plastic barrier.
When the woman behind the counter handed him the pills, police said, Galarza told the girl he was with to leave the store, then he fled as well.
The GNC employee followed him and the two scuffled outside the store at 8312 Mills Dr. Galarza knocked the much smaller woman to the ground then fled in a silver, 2016 Hyundai Sonata, police said. Police got a partial piece of the tag — the letters and numbers WL58.
The GNC employee suffered a cut to her right hand but was otherwise unharmed.
Galarza, 5 feet, 6 inches and about 200 pounds, is bald and has a long dark beard. He was wearing a black T-shirt with the word Punisher on the front and the number 74 on the back when the alleged crime was committed.
Miami-Dade police found Galarza at a Southwest Miami-Dade home at 603 SE 34th Ave., just before noon Thursday and arrested him without a struggle. He has been charged with strong-arm robbery and child neglect.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement records show that he was convicted of lewd and lascivious conduct with a juvenile in 2012. He is also known to use several aliases.
Miami-Dade police Detective Daniel Ferrin said prosecutors are looking into whether Galarza may have violated his parole. Charges are pending.