MIAMI SHORES, FLA. (WSVN) - An elected leader who suddenly became the victim of a purse snatcher in Miami Shores is now sharing her story with 7News.
Miami Shores Mayor Alice Burch spoke out Wednesday about the incident that shook her up at a shopping plaza off Northeast 95th Street, the day before.
Burch, 64, had stopped to get a cup of coffee at a shop in the plaza, located at the corner of Northeast Second Avenue and Northeast 95th Avenue. That’s when two men rushed up to her and got hold of her purse before fleeing the scene.
Burch decided to chase both men, who, as it turns out, were armed with a BB gun, but they actually decked her upon encounter. “It was dangerous, but I had a sense he was a very young person, and that he wasn’t expected to be chased,” Burch said, “and if I hadn’t chased after, I would not have been able to get the tag of the car.”
The plaza’s surveillance cameras were recording the chase as Burch ran after the two men. “He dropped the gun in the street. I thought it was plastic,” said Burch.
Another camera caught the moment she was pushed to the ground.
Miami Shores Police arrived quickly on the scene. “Miami Shores Police are amazing,” Burch said. “I knew this before I was ever elected to anything.”
After investigating, detectives were able to get three people into custody. “That’s really impressive. I mean, we deal with a lot of crime victims, and it’s really a shock factor for them when they become a victim of crime, so sometimes the information is only piecemeal and not entirely complete,” said Miami Shores Police Chief Kevin Lystad. “But in this particular case, one of the key components was the initial getting of the tag of the vehicle for us.”
Police are still looking for a fourth suspect, who was wearing a tie dye hoodie at the time of the incident.
After the robbery, police said, two of the suspects used the mayor’s credit card at a gas station. Officials are trying to identify the fourth subject, who was caught on gas station surveillance camera. They said he changed out of the hoodie in the car. “We’re working with some of our close partners in the area that suspect these crimes in their cities as well,” Lystad said.
Miami Shores Police have already dealt with another frightening robbery within that same shopping plaza, multiple weeks ago. In that case, a man robbed a woman in the parking lot, taking her wedding ring.
Police arrested a man in that case and have a message for anyone who is thinking about attempting something similar in their area. “If you come into Miami Shores and commit a crime, we are gonna find you, and we are gonna get you in jail,” Lystad said.
Miami Shores PD made arrests in both of these cases but are still looking for the one individual who was wearing the tie dye hoodie. If you recognize him, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.
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