In our quiet residential neighborhood, at 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday May 29 the Coral Springs Police Department hunted down 2 armed robbers in the southern Coral Springs area.
It all started in Coconut Creek at approximately 11:00 P.M. on the corner of Holmberg and 441. There, a lady in a Porsche got out of her car to use the ATM machine. She left her car still running. Two white males on foot, aged 17 and 18 and armed with a gun, held her up as she was collecting her money from the machine. Seeing that the Porsche was running the thieves quickly ran to the car, slammed the doors and made their way south on 441 towards the Sawgrass Expressway. As they pulled away the lady called 911. The thieves turned onto the expressway and proceeded west towards the Everglades. The Coral Springs Police Department, Boca Raton, Broward County Sheriff, Margate Police, were all notified as to the description of the suspects, that they were armed, dangerous and were last seen driving a Porsche.
One of the Coral Spring’s policeman in an unmarked car, and operating on a hunch that the thieves would use the Sawgrass Expressway as their getaway route drove on to the expressway at Sample Road and proceeded northbound. The thieves continued on the Sawgrass Expressway as it turned south at the Everglades. The policeman saw the Porsche and immediately made a U-turn through the grassy median and proceeded south bound after them with sirens and signals blazing. When the bandits saw the unmarked car in the rear view mirror they realized that they were being chased. They increased their speed to over 120 mph, then slowed down to get off the expressway at Atlantic Blvd. They accelerated to high speed, the unmarked police car in chase about 1/2 mile back.
While this was going on, the policeman in the unmarked car radioed dispatch and a perimeter was quickly set up to limit the criminal’s options in using our streets.
The criminals made a right turn at Riverside Drive in front of Mariner’s Cove subdivision at the Vantana community. Down Riverside they flew at high speed through the Coral Ridge intersection past Riverside Elementary School. As they were being pursued they went out of control a few times spinning 360 degrees. They continued recklessly straight past Coral Springs drive and Taravella High school, until finally spinning out and crashing into a sign at the corner of Riverside and 101st Street.
The thieves fled on foot into the residential neighborhood climbing fences to shake off the several Coral Springs Policemen who got out of their vehicles and were now running after them.
With the sirens going off, two Coral Springs residents almost created a disaster. They apparently heard the crash of the Porsche in front of their apartment building. One of them was armed with a gun sticking out of his waist line. The two residents were just coming out of the tree line near the roadway as Officer Bill Reid was running in their direction after the bandits. They matched the same skin color as the thieves and one of them was carrying a gun just like the suspects. These Yahooers heard the commotion and they wanted to see what was happening. Seeing the gun as well as two young white males who matched the description of the suspects, Officer Reid drew his weapon and ordered the two to quickly lie face down on the ground. The residents complied and Officer Reid disarmed them and quickly determined that these were not the two everyone was looking for. However, had the officer been in plain clothes (as was the original policeman that gave chase on the Sawgrass expressway) they might have assumed the officer to be a thief. If the citizen would have made a move toward his gun, the officer would have had no choice but to shoot him, becoming an innocent victim. Luckily that didn’t happen as the Officer Reid used his experience, and the two residents didn’t make any wrong moves, their only good idea of the evening).
The officers gave chase and caught up with the thieves 1/2 block east of University on Riverside. They quickly admitted to the crime and were turned over proudly to the Coconut Creek Police Department.
The quick response and perfect hunch of the Coral Springs Policeman who decided to go onto the Sawgrass expressway to search for the criminals, was the most important factor that led to the conclusion of this crime and the arrest of the perpetrators.
Involved in this successful capture were Coral Springs Police Officers Glen Dorow, Scott Levin, Glen Ritta, Brad McKeone, Scott Carrasquillo and Bill Reid.
In the coming few days we will obtain the 911 tapes and update this remarkable story.
Sleep well Coral Springs. Our policemen are 2nd to none!