DEERFIELD BEACH (CBS4) – A Deerfield Beach AT&T store was robbed at gunpoint Wednesday afternoon, a spokesman for the Broward Sheriff’s Office said.
The robbery at 411 S. Federal Highway was the latest in what seems to be a growing trend of wireless store crimes.
In this case, 11 employees and at least 1 customer were forced into a backroom during the robbery, BSO Spokesman Mike Jachels said.
One employee managed to sneak out and ask a neighboring business for help.
“You just don’t expect someone to come in and say we’re being robbed next door,” Michael Bozworth said.
Bozworth and his co-worker Christie O’Connor were just feet away from the violent crime in progress.
“We were right here,” O’Connor said. “Guy comes in, says he works for AT&T. (He) says there’s an armed robbery. They’re holding them at gunpoint. Can you call 911.”
The men held their shirts over their faces, Jachels explained.
“We saw two guys carrying black garbage bags running out to their black SUV and taking off,” O’Connor said.
Those bags were filled with cell phones.
BSO deputies later tracked down two men in Pompano beach.
Boxes of cell phones were found in their car.
Investigators were looking into the possibility these men are connected to other crimes.
“We had the attempted robbery of a Sprint store in Pompano and a suspicious incident, that’s what we’re calling it at this time, at another Sprint store in Pompano, all Wednesday morning,” Jachels said. “These are violent criminals that are going to into cell phone stores with guns.”
In this latest robbery, stunned employees left feeling grateful.
“We’re okay. So thank you,” one woman said before driving off.
Deputies are still searching for a 1999 Chevrolet Suburban SUV in connection to the case.
Anyone with information should call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.