PEMBROKE PINES(CBSMiami) — Pembroke Pines Police say a Good Samaritan helped foil the strong armed robbery of a 71-year-old woman.
Richard Shifflet told police that he was driving to work along Douglas Road Monday morning when he saw a senior citizen get knocked to the ground. He says he didn’t think about whether he should help, he just reacted.
“To see this old lady getting struck and drug and know what’s going on you gotta do something,” Shifflet said. “You can’t stand there and ignore it.”
Shifflet said he saw Jeffrey Miller try to steal a 71-year old woman’s purse.
“I watched him hit her,” Shifflet said. “I think he shoved her in the shoulder — hit her in the shoulder — and when he grabbed her bag, he drug her for a few feet and then the bag broke.”
Shifflet said the violent encounter went down right outside this entrance to a Nissan dealership. Shifflet said he saw three other people in a car with the suspect so Shifflet parked his vehicle behind the suspect’s car, blocking the entrance. He said seconds later Miller walked up to the victim, gave her the purse back and explained himself.
“(He) told her he did it because somebody dared him,” Shifflet said. “And I just looked at him and said, ‘Dude, you don’t beat up an old lady. That’s not a dare.'”
Police say they caught Miller but two other male suspects and a female suspect drove off through the dealership and got away. Miller is charged with robbery and battery on a person over 65. He is locked up in the Broward County Jail. Police say the victim suffered minor injuries. Investigators say they’re glad Shifflet wasn’t hurt and urge others to use caution in similar situations.
“I think this witness’s efforts were very bold and courageous and honorable,” Captain Al Xiques said. “However we don’t recommend that citizens take those actions into their own hands because there’s a great potential for danger.”
Instead, police recommend people call 911 and try to get as much pertinent information as they can.
Shifflet says he realized the possibility of danger later but at the time his instinct was to help. He said the victim’s response to his actions made it all worthwhile.
“She called me to the vehicle probably 4 times — 3 that I know of for sure and gave me a big hug,” he said. “And that’s all that counted to me.”
Police say they believe they have a good idea who the other suspects are and if you can help them, please call Broward Crimestoppers at 954 493-TIPS.
Investigators say that the suspects who got away dumped stolen items from other crimes committed in North Miami Beach and Miami-Dade County and detectives in those jurisdictions are looking into that.