Surveillance video showed two men brandishing handguns, their heads covered by ski masks enter Renee’s Golden Touch jewelry store located at 6501 Taft Street in Hollywood this past Saturday, prompting two quick-thinking employees to flee through a back door but not before pressing an alarm that alerted authorities to the robbery in process.
During the heist, two customers were forced to the ground at gunpoint as the criminals’ emptied showcases and trays of items, later found to be valued between ten and twenty thousand dollars.
Erik Mobley a relative of one of the men who was “forced to the ground” at the time of the robbery, armed with his own gun, was outside the store when he noticed the two men exit. He pursued the blue Pontiac that acted as their getaway car, driven by a third man, and followed them on Johnson Street, observing jewelry being thrown out the car windows as he tried to chase them down. As Mobley continued his pursuit, the driver of the car appeared to lose control, and crashed on the 8300 block in Hollywood. After the collision, they again drove away only to again crash the vehicle at the 9400 block in neighboring Pembroke Pines.
With the help of an off-duty Miami Gardens police officer who was fortuitously present at the scene of the second crash, Mobley was able to subdue 27-year-old Mark McPherson, of Plantation, as the two other suspects took off on foot.
Still on the move they tried to break into a locked home near the crash site but were unable to gain access.
As the action continued to play out, a resident in the area noticed that the police activity had moved in proximity of his own backyard. Armed with his own firearm, he released his dogs which immediately started barking at a large box in the backyard which the homeowner used to store cushions. That box became the final hiding place of the two remaining perpetrators.
Noticing two men glancing at him from inside the box, the homeowner pointed his gun at them and then beckoned police to the area where the two suspects were attempting to hide.
The two gunmen identified as Travass Alexander Quinn, 22, of Fort Lauderdale and 17-year-old Malcolm Jones of Fort Lauderdale were arrested at the scene and reunited with McPherson, their third cohort. They were all charged with grand theft of more than $10,000 but less than $20,000 as well as robbery with a firearm. Quinn was additionally charged with attempted burglary of an occupied dwelling for his failed attempt of breaking into the above mentioned property.
Thankfully, nobody was injured and all of the jewelry was recovered from the theft.
Quinn was previously arrested in Kissimmee, Florida in January 2011 when he was only 19 years old. He and an accomplice, Willie Frank Morgan, were taken to the Osceola County Jail on charges of grand theft auto, occupied armed burglary, possession of burglary tools and resisting arrest without violence.
All Court appearances by Quinn for those offenses were either adjudicated “guilty no trial required” or “Nolle Prossed”, which is a Latin legal term that translates to a declaration made to the judge by a prosecutor in a criminal case either before or during trial, indicating that the charges in the case against the defendant(s) is being dropped.
To view the Osceola County Clerk of Courts Docket Entries for the previous charges against Quinn regarding his earlier offenses that have since been disposed click here.
Armed burglary is defined as transporting a deadly weapon or any type of explosives in the course of a burglary to a dwelling, structure or conveyance. It is a first degree felony under Florida law punishable by up to a life sentence in state prison. These are the most serious burglary charges because they carry the stiffest penalties.
A conviction for the crime of armed burglary or armed robbery can result in an extensive prison term. The length of the sentence can vary dependent on numerous factors including the offender’s history and whether or not anyone was hurt during the commission of the crime.
If you, a friend or family member is in need of an experienced criminal defense attorney in the Fort Lauderdale, Miami, or West Palm Beach area, Mr. Cohen’s office can provide you with the skilled representation that is essential to protect your rights. He has defended many cases dealing with these types of allegations and has returned the best results possible for his clients based on the situation of the offenses alleged by the prosecution.
Mr. Cohen is a board certified criminal trial lawyer rated AV by Martindale Hubbel (pre-eminent) and a “Super Lawyer” recognized as being in the top 5% of his specialized field (criminal trial law) among Florida lawyers. He is considered a specialist by the Florida Bar in his field. Mr. Cohen has tried scores of cases over his 35 year career and is a member of the Florida and New York Bars. He practices in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Miami, among other counties. He is also admitted to practice in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh and Second Circuit.
Mr. Cohen’s practice has recently expanded and he is now a partner in the prestigious law firm of McLaughlin & Stern, LLP. Through this partnership, Mr. Cohen can now lead your defense in the New York Metropolitan area in addition to the Broward, Dade, or Palm Beach County areas as well as all other jurisdictions throughout the state of Florida
Mr. Cohen is also listed in the 2013 edition of “Best Lawyers in America”