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2 men arrested in "targeted" Miami robbery, 3 people assaulted

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CBS News Miami Live

MIAMI — Two men accused of assaulting three people in what police are calling a "targeted" robbery on Sunday have been arrested. 

Victor Yariel Polanco, 23, of Connecticut, and Yeuris Baez, 28, of New Jersey have been charged with armed robbery, aggravated battery, and burglary with an assault.

Around 3:55 a.m. Sunday, officers were sent to Northwest 3rd Avenue and 23rd Street after police received a report of a robbery. When they arrived, they found three people, two of whom required medical attention.

They told the officers they were sitting inside their car when two men, who they didn't know, approached them. One person said he removed his Rolex and hid it under his seat. The two men, later identified as Polanco and Baez, suddenly opened the car door and demanded that everyone inside hand over their watches. They reportedly threatened to shoot them if they didn't. 

When one person refused to give up his Rolex, he was put into a headlock and "pistol-whipped until he lost consciousness," according to police. As a result, he suffered a laceration and bruising to the back of his head.

According to the arrest affidavits, he did not state which suspect assaulted him during the robbery.

Polanco and Baez then rummaged through a purse and removed the keys from the ignition, which prevented them from leaving. 

Detectives reviewed security video of the area and spotted a black BMW parked in the street with a "clear view" of the victims' car. Around 2:50 a.m., the victims were seen leaving their vehicle before returning to their car about 30 minutes later while crossing paths with Polanco and Baez. Shortly after they returned and talked with the BMW's unidentified driver and passenger, Polanco and Baez entered a black Range Rover with a New York state license plate.

The security video then showed both suspect vehicles taking turns in surveillance positions where the victims remained visible to them before and during the robbery. According to the arrest affidavits, only Polanco and Baez were able to get close enough to the victims as they returned to their car.

Then, Baez is seen exiting the Range Rover and walking around the area before fleeing to the BMW. As the robbery occurred, Polanco was seen using the Range Rover to block traffic from going toward the scene and fleeing after the incident.

On Monday, detectives were then able to find the Ranger Rover, and they were arrested with the assistance of Miami PD's STOP Unit. The victims' two Rolexes were also found inside of their vehicle as well, police stated.

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