CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) — Homeowners and a city commissioner are calling for the public’s help after a Spanish-speaking armed robber stole a couple’s jewelry during a home invasion.
Neighbors say it was the second time in three years that the couple was robbed in their house and now they have put it up for sale.
City Commissioner Mike Mena told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that while he believes this was an “isolated incident,” he is concerned after the robbery in the 800 block of Navarre Avenue. Police say the suspect is captured on surveillance tape the same night of the robbery.
“Obviously with anything like this that happens in our community, it’s a concern,” he said. “Nobody wants to see this happen. It’s an unfortunate event for someone to be followed home from a restaurant outside the city and be robbed. It’s a terrible thing. We want to focus on doing everything we can to find this individual. There’s a lot of surveillance tape out there of this gentleman and we are hopeful that people will respond if they know anything and hear anything. If they do, we need to apprehend him.”
Mena said he knows the victims and is very concerned.
“This is really an isolated incident for someone to be followed this way,” he said. “We want everyone to please take a look at this surveillance video and let us know, if you know anything. We want to apprehend this individual so he will not do it again.”
Detectives say the robbery happened at 8:45 p.m. on Thursday, July 20th. That same night, they say the man was captured on surveillance tape at the Versailles Restaurant at 3501 S.W. 8th St. He was wearing a Nike baseball cap and bowed his head to cover his face when he saw a camera outside the restaurant.
Police say he followed the couple to their home on Navarre Avenue and robbed them at gunpoint of their jewelry while speaking Spanish. They say he displayed a small, black, semi-automatic handgun.
Officer Kelly Denham said, “The subject who you see on the surveillance video says in all Spanish, ‘I want your jewelry. Nobody gets hurt. I won’t kill you.” The couple gave him their jewelry. She said the robber had walked through the restaurant parking lot looking for a victim.
One neighbor, who did not want to show her face and who lives near the victims’ house, said, “I think that’s somebody we need to take off the street. You don’t feel secure. To know this happened so close to your house and they were held up at gunpoint. They were robbed three years ago and for this to happen again it is very unfortunate.”
That neighbor said she too had been victimized on Navarre Avenue.
“Our cars were broken into at least three times,” she said. “It’s not what we expect to happen in this area.”
Other neighbors who also did not want to go on camera said they were very concerned. One of those neighbors said she stopped wearing her expensive Rolex watch in public for fear of being robbed.
Police say the thief, between the ages of 35 and 45, is a white, Hispanic male, about 5’5” tall and weighs between 160 and 170 pounds. and has short brown hair and a medium complexion. He is muscular and likely works out.
Detectives believe he was driving a 4-door, white, 2015-2017 Mercedes Benz C300 with dark-tinted windows. Police released a photo showing the type of car that he was driving.
Neighbors say police have stepped up their presence on and around Navarre Avenue and even have set up surveillance. They say as far as they know, no other homeowners have been robbed at gunpoint.
The neighbors and police hope the gunman will be caught soon.
Anyone with information should call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).