PEMBROKE PINES, FLA. (WSVN) - Two robbers were caught on cellphone video fleeing after holding a woman at gunpoint and beating her in a Pembroke Pines neighborhood that has seen two similar robberies.
Residents said that although they live in a gated community, they do not feel safe. At least two women were previously robbed near the Windmill Lakes community and now a third person was targeted.
Neighbors said the gates that are supposed to protect them have not worked in months.
According to Pembroke Pines Police, the armed robbery took place near the Windmill Lakes community on Monday, at 11 p.m.
The 57-year-old victim was getting out of her car after a night at work when, police said, the two men approached her and demanded the keys to her car.
“It’s obviously not right, but I guess that’s what they see fit, so they do it and they hurt people,” said Whitney, the victim’s daughter.
She did not want to show her face on camera. “I don’t want this to happen to anybody else,” Whitney said. “They’re obviously targeting a specific type of people.”
Pembroke Pines Police said this marks the third carjacking attempt since Dec. 3 in this apartment complex, off Southwest 86th Avenue and Third Street. All had a similar MO.
Police said two other women were robbed and carjacked inside the same community.
Before running away, police said, the men punched and kicked her. They did not steal her car but made off with some items from inside it. “One of the guys, I saw him kicking her,” said a witness. “He was stomping on her.”
Neighbors hearing the commotion ran outside and one of them caught who they believe are the suspects fleeing the scene on cellphone video.
“When she screamed, all the neighbors heard,” said the woman’s daughter, Whitney, who did not want to show her face on camera, “and they came out to see what was going on, and they ran away.”
A neighbor said she also heard the commotion. “I heard the screaming,” she said. “I’m afraid. I don’t live here, but I live here temporarily, and I’m petrified.”
Whitney described the two men who fled the scene. “Two young, skinny, African-American kids came with a gun and asked her for her keys, yelling at her,” she said. “She tried to walk away from them, and they pushed her and started beating her.”
Pembroke Pines Mayor Frank Ortis did not hold back during a press conference when referring to the attackers. “You’re punks, you’re stupid, you’re ignorant. If you’re watching this right now, we’re gonna get you,” he said. “How dare you be cowards, and beat up a defenseless woman? How dare you?”
Concerned by her head injuries, Whitney took her mother to the hospital Tuesday afternoon to get her checked out.
She was released hours later but refused to talk to media.
In the two previous incidents, a Corolla and a Sonata were stolen.
“First, he hit the window, but then he opened the door, and he went into my car and put the gun to my head,” said carjacking victim Mercedes.
Monday’s attack went a step further. “These criminals actually beat the victim,” said Pembroke Pines Capt. Al Xiques. “They kicked her twice, and they punched her in the head several times as she was pleading with them, ‘No, no, no,’ not to hurt her.”
If you have any information on this robbery, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.
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