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Suspected Sneaker Thieves Caught On Camera

CORAL GABLES (CBS4) - Police in Coral Gables have released surveillance tape and a photo of two people they want you to remember. They are seen moments before police said they robbed an 11-year-old boy of his expensive and popular Nike DMP1 sneakers.

It's a story prompting concern from consumers and outrage from a local activist and minister.

"This is a crime that we have seen nationwide," said the Rev. Jerome Starling, a local activist and well-known minister from Miami. "Kids hurting each other for these expensive sneakers. We don't need any more violence in our community, especially over shoes."

"it makes me feel terrible," said Kirk Taboada. He spoke with CBS4's Peter D'Oench outside the "Niketown" store in South Miami. "It's ridiculous if you ask me. It's crazy when you think about it. I don't want to say that it's the kids' fault but they go a little bit too crazy for something that is not as valuable as it costs on the market."

"It kind of takes away from the whole sneaker game," Taboada added.

Coral Gables Police Officer and spokeswoman Kelly Denham told CBS4, "What makes it sad is that the 11-year-old child saved his money and now he's become a victim of a crime because someone else is taking advantage of probably his age."

Denham said the sneakers cost as much as $200 a pair.

She said the surveillance tape shows the suspects in a crowd of hundreds of people at 5:22 p.m. last Saturday at a "Sneakercon" convention inside the University of Miami Bank United Center.

They later approached the boy when he was trying to resell the high-end sneakers that he had just bought.

They are wearing distinctive clothing, said Denham.

"One subject is wearing a yellow, beanie-type cap and the other person is wearing a blue and white, black-striped shirt with a white baseball cap," she said. "The one with the beanie is about five foot 6 inches tall. The other one is about five foot ten inches to six feet tall. Both are between 16-and 18-years-old and are black males."

She said the suspect with the beanie first pretends that he is pulling money out of his front pocket then he pushes the victim and grabs his sneakers and runs away. Denham said this is a strong-arm robbery. Both suspects are believed to have gotten into a blue Ford Mustang.

Denham said the story prompts a warning.

"Anytime you are out there trying to sell high-end products, look around," she said. "You have to be aware of your surroundings. If you see something suspicious, turn back around and try to find a security guard or a police officer so you don't become a victim of such a crime."

She said the victim was at the convention with his brother and that the two people who robbed him were not armed.

"There's kids in this world who can't even afford shoes,who don't even have materials for shoes," said Hassett. "And other kids hurt people for $200 shoes. It's gross."

Anyone with information on the suspects is urged to call Miami-Dade Crimestoppers at (305)-471-TIPS (8477).


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