MIAMI(CBSMiami) — Police are asking for the public’s help in finding a serial robber who’s struck six businesses since April 18th and are releasing surveillance tape in three of those crimes.
He is caught on camera brandishing his black handgun and even pointing it at one clerk. He demands cash and Newport cigarettes.
Faisal Rasul, the co-owner of a Raceway service station that was victimized on April 26th told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “I tell my employees to do what an armed robber wants and stay safe but we are very disappointed. My employees and I work very hard to earn some money and put bread on the tape and then people like this come in. I worked 7 days a week 12 to 14 hours a day.”
“He came in to my store and one of the employees backed away when he saw he had a gun,” he said. “There were two people at the register. Detectives told me he had robbed several businesses in the past week.”
Miami Police said the first robbery happened at 3:16 a.m. On April 18th at a CVS pharmacy at 3695 West Flagler Street. Then another one occurred at 2:30 a.m. On April 26th at a stop and shop store on West Flagler St. just West of 47th Ave.
Two hours later, at 4:30 a.m., the robber struck Rasul’s store at 19851 N.W. 57th Ave.
Police say the same thief robbed three businesses on May 2nd – this past Tuesday. At 3:57 a.m. a Walgreens Pharmacy was robbed at 2700 West Flagler Street and just 20 minutes later, at 4:16 a.m. a CVS pharmacy was robbed at 2710 S.W. 8th St. The third robbery that day happened at a 711 store at 18421 N.W. 67th Avenue.
Miami and Miami-Dade Police spoke to the media at a joint news conference at Miami Police headquarters.
Officer Kenia Fallat, a Miami Police spokeswoman, said, “There’s a pattern. He walks into stores and goes towards the cooler to get a soda or a beer and acts like a paying customer. When the register opens, he pulls out his handgun. He asks for all the cash in the drawer and all of their Newport cigarettes.”
“We consider him armed and dangerous only because he is pulling out his handgun and we know the danger and how things can change from bad to worse in just seconds and that is why we want to get him off the street,” she said.
The robber has not harmed any clerks so far and has told them that no one is going to get hurt. Still detectives are concerned.
Miami-Dade Police detective Alvaro Zabaleta said, “Anyone willing to pull out a gun is obviously a trigger away from a shot going out and hurting somebody. If you happen to see this man, don’t approach him. Call 911.”
Zabaleta was asked if the serial robber could feel emboldened by avoiding capture so far.
Zabaleta said, “He has done 6 (robberies). We don’t know what his intentions are.”
Police describe the robber as a white Hispanic male who is about 25 to 30 years old, 6′ tall and 200 pounds.
He was seen fleeing on foot. It’s not known if he had a getaway car. Police believe he has been acting alone.
Anyone with information should call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).