iPhone, Kindle Snatcher Caught On Video At UM Metrorail Station
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South Florida Crime
MIAMI (CBS4) – A thief armed with rocks robbed a man at the Metrorail station across from the University of Miami campus in Coral Gables last Tuesday night.
The robbery was captured on security video.
Humberto Lopez Mata, 39, told police he was standing on the ground level at the University Station when a man wearing a white shirt, black pants and a skully came running straight at him.
“A fight ensued, kind of like a tug of war over the Kindle and the iPhone,” Coral Gables Ofc. Kelly Denham said.
The station was not deserted at 9:35 p.m. on January 14th. Instead, there were several people walking around including several children running.
Investigators believe the robber watched and waited until the coast was clear before catching Lopez Mata off guard.
Police said the thief was armed with two rocks.
“All it has to do is have an effect. You can injure someone from using those rocks if that’s your intent, so that’s why we called it a strong armed robbery,” Ofc. Denham said.
At first, Lopez Mata tried to hold on to his belongings, but police said he eventually realized they weren’t worth his life.
Lopez Mata did try chasing the man in the skully, but was slowed down by the locked fare gate.
“You see the subject jump over the turn style, but yet the victim is looking for his pass card to try to follow him and do the right thing,” Denham said.
The video shows the thief running up the stairs and then back down.
He eventually dropped the electronics he swiped.
Cops were able to locate them using GPS technology on the phone.
At the University Station Monday, people weren’t shy about keeping their gadgets in view, but some admit the situation is a bit frightening so close to campus.
“I think that’s terrible. We can’t even walk from the Metrorail to the bus no more,” Kimberly Dennis said.
“It’s very scary, especially for my girls and my friends,” UM student Yang Song explained.
Yang Song and other students told CBS4′s Lauren Pastrana the University Police Department sent out a safety alert message about the incident last week.
Some are concerned, but others said violence at train stations is nothing new.
Rajhem Lang said he has seen it first hand.
“I’m from the South Bronx, so stuff like this always happens near my Metro,” Lang explained. “It’s scary at the same time because you don’t really want to run into that. It’s unfortunate. You should always protect yourself.”
Anyone with information should call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).