Surveillance cameras in a Lauderdale Lakes condo complex captured footage of a robbery by sudden snatching.
The footage reportedly shows an elderly woman approaching her door with an armful of groceries. The suspect then approaches and violently snatches the woman's purse from her shoulder. The force caused the woman to fall to the ground.
The police have no suspects at this point. The police will use surveillance footage to help identify the accused. If the accused is identified, a photo lineup will likely be created for the alleged victim to see. The alleged victim then may identify the accused in the photo lineup. If the accused is positively identified, an arrest will be made. Police may then try and obtain a statement from the accused.
Surveillance video by itself is not always great evidence. Images can be blurry and may not accurately capture a person's features. If the suspect has generic features, then it may be hard to tell one person apart from the other. That is why a positive identification from the alleged victim and a confession are so important to law enforcement officers and prosecutors.
Robbery by sudden snatching is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison. However, after viewing the video, the accused - if and when there is an arrest - will likely face more serious charges of strong-arm robbery due to the amount of force used against the alleged victim.
Eric Matheny is a Miami-Dade and Broward robbery attorney.