MARGATE (CBS4) – Margate Police say accused armed robber Rainier Cox was busy in their city on January 2nd — robbing an Advanced Auto Parts store and a Citi Trends clothing store within about 5 hours.
Detective Julio Fernandez said he knew as soon as he watched surveillance video of the Citi Trends robbery that the thief was likely a repeat offender.
“I knew after the second one that this guy had probably done numerous robberies prior to ours,” Fernandez said, noting the thief’s calm, businesslike demeanor.
Fernandez began sharing details of the crimes with other law enforcement officers and found that the Broward Sheriff’s Office and Fort Lauderdale Police Department had similar cases.
“We came to the conclusion that Rainier Cox possibly was involved in 14 robberies,” Fernandez told CBS 4′s Carey Codd. Fernandez said the crime spree began last November and extended up Florida’s east coast to Daytona Beach.
In surveillance video from the Citi Trends robbery, it’s almost five in the afternoon when police say the images captured Cox and an accomplice, Sheree Goodley, walking into the store on State Road 7. Fernandez said Cox walked to the counter with some socks, vaulted the counter with a gun in hand when the clerk opens the register, ordered the clerk onto the floor and started helping himself to money.
“All of (the employees) said they feared for their life because Mr. Cox pointed the gun at them several times,” Fernandez said.
Both Cox and Goodley are in jail facing charges for the Margate crimes. Cox faces charges in several other cases, records show.
Earlier this year, Fort Lauderdale Police released video of a similar crime. Fernandez said the video shows Cox pulling off an armed robbery at a TJ Maxx store on Federal Highway.
Fernandez said that as the task force studied the cases, they realized that thief was always calm, wore a hat and oftentimes a goatee. The detective said it wasn’t long before Cox was a suspect. Fernandez is hopeful that businesses are a little safer with Cox locked up.
“Rainier Cox being incarcerated and hopefully being convicted and put away for a long time makes not only our city but the entire east coast of Florida safe,” Fernandez said.