An armed robbery attempt at a Family Dollar store in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, was foiled thanks to the quick thinking and timely intervention of an armed Good Samaritan. Given the high crime rates in the city, this incident further shows why responsible gun ownership is essential to protecting lives.
The confrontation began at about 10 p.m. last Wednesday, when two would-be robbers entered the store.
Police said Nicolas Richard Lee Deas, 20, of Fort Lauderdale, and another man walked up as the employee was closing the store and Deas claimed he left his cellphone inside so the employee opened the door to try and help him.
The employee’s kind gesture would turn out to be a mistake, according to an arrest report, as Deas pointed a stolen gun at the worker and told him, “Give me the money or I will kill you.”
Police said the employee took the pair to the safe and Deas’ accomplice filled the bag with about $1,200. The report states Deas pistol-whipped the worker in the back of the neck and in the elbow.
A man closing his own business in the shopping center said he heard the commotion at the nearby Family Dollar and went in, the report states.
Police said the business owner saw Deas with a gun in his hand, took out his own gun and ordered the suspect to drop his weapon and get on the ground, which he did. The other suspect got away, however.
This incident showcases the heroics of a local resident who happened to be carrying a firearm. However, it also underscores a disconcerting reality about the city’s crime rate. Ft. Lauderdale has one of the highest crime rates in the nation for a city of its size. Reports suggest that it sees 47 crimes per one thousand residents, which means the chances of someone being victimized by a violent or property crime is an alarming one in 21. This crime rate is higher than 97 percent of Florida’s cities.
When it comes to severe violent offenses like murder, rape, armed robbery, and aggravated assault, one has about a one in 159 chance of being a victim of these crimes. Property crime is also rampant in the city. This includes arson, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and burglary. Ft. Lauderdale residents have a one in 25 chance of being on the receiving end of one of these crimes.
In light of these numbers, it is understandable that at least some residents would see the wisdom in carrying firearms. Indeed, in this case, the Good Samaritan did not use his gun to defend himself, but came to the aid of his neighbor. If he hadn’t been on the scene, and armed, this incident could have had some tragic results.
The incident at the Family Dollar store provides a harrowing cautionary tale about living in a city with high crime rates. While the city’s government wrestles with creating solutions to the problem, it is important that people realize that they are their first line of defense if confronted with a violent criminal. Even an act as simple as grocery shopping can lead to an altercation with bad actors.