Armed Robbery of Woman Caught on Camera

By: Chris Brunner

The armed robber came and went in a flash, but luckily, an alert neighbor caught the Wednesday afternoon robbery on camera. Now, Broward Sheriff’s Office detectives are hoping the public can identify the brazen thief.

Around 5:20 p.m. July 13, Maria Cruz, 19, of North Lauderdale was heading home when a man approached her from behind at 6800 S.W. 16 Court in North Lauderdale pulling a revolver from his waistband and placing it on the left side of her neck. He made off with her schoolbag and her LG G Stylo cellphone.

Cruz’s neighbor, Keith Bankston, told detectives that he became suspicious when he noticed how the suspect was approaching the victim. Bankston, who used to work in law enforcement, started to record the interaction from the side mirror of his parked car. He didn’t realize until after the incident when he asked Cruz if she knew the male and she said “no” that an armed robbery had just occurred.

The suspect appears to be about 5’ 10” tall. He was wearing a black hoodie, a white T-shirt, red basketball shorts, black socks, and black and white slippers. The armed robber was last seen in a gold-colored Saturn.

Anyone with information is asked to contact BSO Robbery Det. Theophilus Woulard at 954-321-4270. If you wish 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.