LAUDERHILL (CBSMiami) – A couple from Germany got a not so warm ‘Welcome to South Florida’ from a trio of muggers at the Swap Shop in Lauderhill.

On Monday 73-year old Sammy Hellwig and his wife were heading back to their car after an afternoon of bargain hunting when they decided to hit the restrooms before they left.

As Hellwig enter the men’s room, he said he was jumped by three people who had followed him in.

“Out of nowhere a tall guy nicked me on the left side and forced me to the floor,” Sammy said.

At that point, Sammy said one attacker put him in a chokehold, while the other two tried to steal his cold chains around his neck, but Hellwig said he didn’t go down without a fight.

While two of the crooks cheered him off, the attacker who had him in the chokehold said, “I can’t do it, he’s too powerful.”

“I’m proud of that,” said Hellwig.

Eventually, the thieves ripped the chains from his neck and took off in a flash.

“I saw blood coming from his chin and his leg was bloody, he said, ‘I got robbed,'” Tracy said after seeing Sammy struggle out of the restroom.

The trio then ran out of the bathroom.  Hellwig said the 14-karat gold chains were worth about five thousand dollars.

Hellwig and his wife Tracy told the Swap Security guards what had happened and the police were called. A search of the shopping area turned up nothing. According to the police report, the trio was last seen running across NW 31st Street and into the surrounding neighborhood.

The Hellwigs say they come to South Florida almost every year and stay for a couple of months.  While they love the weather and the people, they say something like this ruins their vacation.

Comments (7)
  1. Miami Beach Business says:

    Crime here on the Beach has gotten so bad that there are agencies advising people to avoid coming here.

    People need to wake up and stop these criminals – it is hurting our business!!!

  2. ConcernedCitizen says:

    The criminal element is hurting the appeal of south florida, i would make you a bet most of them are from the islands, yet we let them come here. time for a ICE raid of all neighborhoods rounding up everyone without valid ID and sending them back to where they came from. We are becoming a 3rd world area, we should treat them like they are treated in their countries and maybe they will go home voluntarily.

  3. Jib says:

    finding three blacks guys down here is like looking for a needle in a haystack..

  4. Aunt Blabby says:

    Gorillas in the mist…..

  5. MRS.WHITE LADY says:

    well from what I read it did not say what race the robber’s where so 1st of all that’s what’s wrong with people now they just assume they were black trust me all humans steal,rob,and kill..crime had no color and yes i’m WHITE….

  6. James says:

    Safer to vacation in Mexico than Miami !

    1. Randolley says:

      I’m not so sure. It will be months to years before you are found in Mexico. Then you would have to be sorted out from the other 200 dead people found in a grave with you. Then you have to clear customs.

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