WEST MIAMI-DADE (CBSMiami) — A safety alert has been issued after Miami-Dade police say a 59-year-old man was followed for a mile from a west Miami-Dade bank and robbed at gunpoint.
Miami-Dade police scrambled to the bank branch on Wednesday after the security guard said he spotted one of the suspects inside the bank and that's where police say their black 2012 Chrysler 300 was spotted.
Police say they arrested 19-year-old Larry Jahiem White of Sweetwater and 20-year-old Tyrese Lamar Blue of Boynton Beach.
A police report said after they followed the victim to the coin laundry, Blue got out of the car and pointed a gun at the victim. When the victim hesitated in giving up his bag of cash, Blue reportedly fired one round in to the ground and the victim gave up his fanny pack with the cash.
Police said they both gave "full confessions" and said White said that the gun that was used was in his car. They were charged with armed robbery with a firearm.
White and Blue came before a Judge in bond court.
They were held without bond.
White asked the court how long it would take to get out of jail and asked if he could be on house arrest while going to college. The Judge said he would have to have a special Arthur hearing to deal with that issue.
The judge ordered both men to stay away from the victim, who was identified in court only as "S.N."
Police told CBS4's Peter D'Oench that he does not want to comment and has invoked Marcy's Law, meaning he does not want to be identified publicly.
What police did tell D'Oench was how people can protect themselves from such situations.
"We can learn from this and what we want to do is remind the people out there and our community and our residents. If you are going to do a bank transaction and you leave go right to your destination, don't make a pit stop somewhere. You never know who may be following you," said Miami-Dade Det. Alvaro Zabaleta.
He cautioned, "If you are going to an ATM at nighttime, go to one that is well lit and do not go alone. If you have a business and you have to take money, try not to do the same routine every day. You never know who is watching you. If you go to bank and in the parking lot you see an individual just sitting in a car, people don't go to banks to just sit in a car. Follow your gut. If it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. If it is an individual acting suspicious, get a description of him because that can help out our detectives, if someone is committing a crime against somebody. That will help identify the person and help protect our community. These individuals went back to the same bank. Who knows if they were going to do it again."
Outside the bank, Juan Velasquez said he takes precautions.
"I think people just need to pay more attention and be alert. Look around to see if anybody is following you and hanging out," he said.
Bethany Cherry also said she is very careful.
She said, "The thing for me that is really important is to scan my surroundings and make sure no one is lurking around. I try to go about my business quickly and get in and get out. I am very conscious of this if you take money out of a bank, especially as a woman, you have to be concerned a little bit more. I try not to go to the ATM at nighttime. And if I do, I go with someone and I am quick. I think this is all very troubling. We all need to be aware and be careful."
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