MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A taxi stolen from North Miami Wednesday evening was used in the robbery of a man who had just withdrawn cash from an ATM on Northwest 36th Street at 12th Avenue early Thursday morning.
The victim, who declined to give his name, was on his way home from work about 1 a.m. when he stopped to get $80 from the ATM to cover a present for his little girl.
“My daughter’s birthday was a couple of days ago and I promised her a gift,” the victim said.
He had just left the ATM on his top-of-the-line bike when bandits jumped out of a stolen Flamingo Yellow cab, one holding a gun inches from his face.
“He has a laser on the top of the pistol, and he’s like got the gun on me while the other guy’s instructing him,” the victim said.
And the instructions?
“He was like, ‘shoot him in the face, shoot him in the face, shoot him in the face!'” the victim recounted.
The highwaymen took the victim’s money and cell phone. He went to a nearby gas station and called police.
The bandits were “too stupid,” one officer on the scene said, to think the man might have a Find My iPhone app on his cell. He did.
About the same time Miami police were finding the precise location of the cab via the internet, a Miami-Dade cop spotted it at a Checkers restaurant at Northwest 7th Avenue and 135th Street. A pursuit of scarcely a block saw the cab crash into a utility pole. Both men jumped out and ran.
Nineteen-year-old Kelly Vixamar was tackled just yards away. The victim positively identified him on the scene as being one of the two assailants.
In the cab, police recovered a semi-automatic pistol and the victim’s cell phone.
Police say Vixamar denied being in on the robbery, and that he declined to say why he ran from them.
The second marauder made a getaway.
The victim knows how close he came to not making it home.
“The only thing that kept me from being shot was I was calm,” the man said.
Police say he’s dead on.
“He immediately complied. Obviously he was in great fear for his life and he did exactly what he’s supposed to do,” said Miami Police spokesperson Ofc. Kenia Fallat.
“I believe if I had reacted any differently, I would have been killed,” said the man, an army veteran.
He said he’s grateful to be alive, and grateful for the work of police.
“With all that’s going on with law enforcement and unarmed black people being killed, I can say the city of Miami and Miami-Dade are really doing their jobs,” the victim said. “I got a lot of respect for police officers, but I just gained a lot more respect for them tonight.”
Police worry the second robber, the one with the laser sight on his pistol who remains at large, won’t leave witnesses behind the next time. They desperately want him off the streets.
If you have information, you’re asked to call Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.