NORTH MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – Surveillance cameras captured a violent armed robbery of a 711 Store and police say this incident could have easily turned tragic.
Four shots were fired at the store manager, according to the Director of Police Service for North Miami Beach Police, Thomas Carney. And all of the shots missed.
It happened at 6 a.m. on Wednesday at the 7-Eleven at 15100 West Dixie Highway. Three surveillance cameras captured a violent exchange that occurred over roughly 60 seconds. And you can also hear the gunman shouting at the manager as he enters the store and waves around his gun.
“Back up, back up. Open the drawer,” he shouts. “I mean open the drawer. Back up, back up, back up.”
He demands cash while telling his accomplice to watch for customers and police. Police say both men wore hoods and masks.
“Open that one,” he tells the manager while saying to his accomplice, “I mean look outside. Look outside.”
And then he yells at the manager, “Back up, back up, back up, back up. Open the safe. I mean open it. Open it. Open it. Open the safe. Open it. Open it.”
The store manager remains calm. He does not open the safe. The gunman grabs a cash register drawer and takes off with his accomplice.
“It’s a good thing he remained calm and did not panic,” said Carney. “That’s when you get hurt.”
That’s because criminals often get frustrated when store employees fight back.
“So you train the clerk to comply,” said Carney. “Don’t fight back. Give them what they want because it’s not worth a fight.”
Carney told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “What concerns us about these guys is the firing of the shots at the manager in trying to get him to open up the safe or give him money. It’s an elevated level of aggression that you don’t normally see.”
Police say the suspects crashed their getaway car into some parked cars in the 1800 block of Northeast 154th Street in the Washington Park neighborhood not far from the store. They abandoned their car and fled on foot into the back yard of a local resident and hid inside a storage shed.
Carney said both were bitten by a police dog when they were captured.
The accused gunman, 19-year-old Anthony Iacono of North Bay Village, appeared in bond court wearing a white bandage around his head from the dog bite. Records show he’s been arrested before: for assault and aggravated battery with a weapon on January 21st of this year and for burglary on December 14th of 2011.
A check of records for the alleged accomplice—Sariles Samuel Jr. of North Miami—showed no prior arrests as an adult but he is just 18 years old. Both men were being held without bond.
Police were checking with other South Florida cities to see if any police agencies believe they are tied to other convenience store armed robberies.
They face a slew of charges including: armed robbery, attempted murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and leaving the scene of a traffic crash with injuries.
Carney said all of the stolen cash had been recovered.
D’Oench told the store manager that police had commended him for remaining calm. He smiled and told D’Oench that he was ok.
He told D’Oench that he was not allowed to speak because of 711 store policy.
A 711 corporate spokeswoman told D’Oench that the company did not allow its employees to speak to the media in such cases.
Carney commended the 711 store for the quality of its surveillance cameras and tape.
“From a law enforcement standpoint, this is a help because of all the camera angles,” said Carney. “There is also sound and that always helps us in our investigation.