MIAMI GARDENS (CBSMiami) – Striking new surveillance tape shows a frightening scene inside a Winn Dixie store when five employees are met by two robbers with guns.
“These employees were terrified,” said Miami Gardens Police Sgt. Bill Bamford. “They were just coming to work as they do every day and were just opening up and turning on the lights when, within seconds, they are greeted by two gunmen and they don’t know if they are going to be victims of gunshots or if they are going to lose their lives.”
The tape reveals what happened during six minutes starting at 5:58a.m. Wednesday as a manager and four employees were opening up the store at 17221 Northwest 27th Avenue.
“What is striking is the brazen attitude of these gunmen who take almost two hours to break open a hole in the back of the building of the supermarket here in Miami Gardens,” Bamford told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench.
“Then these men lay in wait for the employees,” said Bamford. “As soon as they enter the store they are ambushed by two armed men who order them to get on the ground. The manager is pulled up from the ground and ordered to a back office to open up the safe, while a handgun is pointed at him.”
“The manager is able to open the safe and is then ordered to the ground again by one suspect who even brings his own duffel bag,” said Bamford.
The suspect is seen removing an unknown amount of cash from the safe.
He and his accomplice flee, leaving through the same hole in the wall in the back of the store.
“It’s really important to get these people off the street,” he said. “Here are two individuals who really don’t care about anyone else. They just want to make a fast buck. They are putting innocent lives in jeopardy and affecting their families and if this happens again, you never know what can happen.”
Bamford said, “Anyone who sees this tape or notices their mannerisms or knows about two guys who were out like this after midnight or a saw a car leaving the parking lot of this store just after 6 in the morning should call police or Crimestoppers.”
Bamford said it’s not known if the suspects have committed any other similar crimes. Since they were wearing masks, it’s not known if their faces had any distinguishing marks.
As Miami Gardens Police detectives combed the store for evidence and clues on Wednesday afternoon, store customers said they were concerned about the incident.
“It was pretty scary. I saw detectives all over the store. The customers are all very concerned about it,” said Marie Isidron.
Another Winn Dixie shopper who did not want to be identified told D’Oench, “It’s typical of things going on these days. It’s typical of the world we are living in.”
D’Oench also spoke to a Brian Wright, a Winn Dixie spokesman at its Jacksonville headquarters. Wright said, “We are going to leave this to the work of law enforcement and will not comment. I can tell you that no one was injured.”
Wright was not able to say how much cash was taken.
Sgt. Bamford encourages that anyone with any information should call Miami Gardens Police or Miami-Dade Crimestoppers at (305) 471—tips (8477).