OAKLAND PARK (CBSMiami) – A 28-year-old Riviera Beach woman took some extraordinary measures after her purse was stolen at a Waffle House restaurant in Oakland Park.
Detectives from the Broward Sheriff’s Office say she pursued some of the suspects on I-95 and was eventually shot in the ankle by one of them.
“I think it’s a very bold move for her to make,” said Waffle House customer Stacy Beck. “Our society has been getting crazy.”
BSO released new surveillance tape of two of the five males wanted in connection with the robbery of Cayla Akien at 4:15 a.m. on May 5th at the restaurant at 4840 NW 9th Avenue near Commercial Boulevard.
BSO spokeswoman Gina Carter told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that Akien and her boyfriend stopped at the restaurant, and while she was sleeping, he went inside.
“While she was napping, someone jumped in to the car,” said Carter. “The thief tried to grab her purse and she and the man struggled. He was able to get away.”
The males fled in a silver car and a black Ford Fusion. Carter said the thief was in the silver car, but Akien pursued the Ford Fusion by mistake. They drove southbound on I-95 getting off at Sunrise Boulevard and going west. At a stop sign, one of the males got out of the car and fired at Akien.
“They came out shooting at her car,” said Akien. “The victim was shot in the ankle. They fired several shots in to the car.”
Akien put her car in to reverse, took off and eventually got help from a deputy.
“She was desperate. She was wounded. She is not from the area,” said Carter. ”She drove around and was able to spot a deputy at a nearby restaurant.” She was transported to Broward Health Medical Center.
BSO discourages victims from pursuing their attackers.
“We would never want anyone to put themselves in danger this way,” said Carter. “Whatever is in your purse, like your wallet, is not as important as your life. So always if you are the victim of a crime we want you to stop and seek help. We do not want you to confront a thief or a burglar yourself.”
Waffle House customer Stacy Beck, who hopes to one day become a police officer, agrees.
“I feel she should not have chased after them,” said Beck. “She should have called the authorities and let them handle it properly. It’s way too dangerous for her and unfortunately she got shot doing that, Of course I understand that and at the end of the day I can’t say I wouldn’t have done the same thing to get my things back but at the same time all those things are replaceable.”
Anyone with additional information is urged to contact Broward Sheriff’s Office Det. Trevor Goodwin at (954) 321-4275.
If you want to remain anonymous, contact Broward Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-TIPS (8477) or online at browardcrimestoppers.org. Anonymous tips that lead to an arrest are eligible for a reward of up to $3,000.