WSVN — A crook swipes something small, but to one business it’s a big deal. One witness turned into a crimefighter and is talking to just one station. The good Samaritan didn’t just chase the guy; he recorded the whole thing. The Nightteam’s Rosh Lowe has the story in tonight’s edition of The Lowedown.
The chase is on. A wild scene is caught on cellphone video. And it’s all about stolen silverware.
Joseph Waks: "The small little crime that causes damage, and they turn it into bigger crimes. If we don’t allow a small piece of crime to happen in this area, we’re crime-free."
Holding the phone and filming while running is Joseph Waks.
Joseph Waks: "I was shocked. This is a very, very safe neighborhood. I work here, I’ve been living here for the last eight years. My children walk the streets here."
Waks is a clothing designer who works in Surfside right near an Italian restaurant. Harding Avenue is the main drag that runs through this town lined with outdoor dining areas.
Joseph Waks: "The problem is that I was wearing these shoes. I’m a marathon runner. I just ran the Miami Marathon, and I can’t run in these shoes."
Not the first time, says the general manager of Villa Castelli, an Italian restaurant in Surfside.
Ciro Costanzo: "It’s never a small thing. A small thing can go to a bigger thing."
He says he’s had silverware swiped from his outdoor dining area numerous times, and he’s had enough.
Ciro Costanzo: "The lady sitting at the bar saw him take it and ran right outside and told the valet, ‘Look, this guy just stole the silverware.’"
In the surveillance video, you can see the guy walking by, then a woman running out of the restaurant. In the cellphone video, Waks could be heard yelling at bystanders to stop the crook.
Joseph Waks: "’Hey, stop him! Stop him! Stop him! Stop him!’ Thanks for helping."
Joseph Waks: "I couldn’t believe it. I was running and no one was helping me. The whole street was just standing there."
Joseph tried his best. He runs half a block and loses him. If you say to yourself why is this a big deal, Surfside Police say any type of crime is a big deal.
The guy in the red hat says he didn’t take anything, but makes a run for it, and now cops are looking for him.
Surfside Police Detective Marian Cruz: "That video is actually very interesting, and a great video. I think it’s great that we have a good Samaritan out there actually willing to take initiative and take a video for us that can hopefully help us identity who this is. The Surfside Police Department definitely does not allow or tolerate this kind of behavior in our city. We want to identify him and speak with him."
Joseph Waks: "I said, ‘Let me help out a brother.’ He would have done the same thing for me, I guarantee you."
Police say, when they catch this guy, he will be charged with strong armed robbery. If you have any information that could help detectives, 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.
In Surfside, Rosh Lowe, 7News.