MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) – The gloves came off at a busy South Beach intersection after, witnesses said, a confrontation between the owner of a T-shirt shop and three female customers who had allegedly stolen merchandise from his business escalated into an all-out brawl that was caught on camera.
According to the owner of Beach Outlet, located at 910 Collins Ave., the trio swiped several items at the shop and made a run for it, Sunday, just after 6:30 p.m.
7News spoke with a store employee, Wednesday, who said the women were inside sipping drinks and seemed to be shopping around. The employee said something seemed fishy, so he followed them around to make sure everything was OK, and that’s when they grabbed the merchandise and made a run for it.
“I hope those girls will be found,” said employee Mourad Chaabi, “and pay the price because that’s the wrong thing to do.”
Chaabi said they were acting suspicious and caught everyone’s attention, including the store’s owner. “The guy was standing there, just making sure everything was OK, so she got that he was watching her,” he said. “She was like, ‘Oh, you wanna watch me now? Well, watch me now,’ and she just grabbed three T-shirts, three sweaters, and the guy basically ran after them in the middle of the street.”
Area resident Paul Thomas said he saw the ensuing melee unfold. “These three girls came running past us; they came out of the store,” he said. “We saw them [holding] things with hangers still on them.”
Dramatic surveillance video from nearby Sherbrooke Hotel, which was posted to Facebook, shows two of the women, one of whom was wearing a green bikini, sprinting down the crosswalk at the corner of Collins Avenue and Ninth Street. They were seen holding large bags.
Moments later, the footage shows the store owner running after them. “He chased them into the street,” said Thomas.
The owner is then seen grabbing the woman in the bikini, causing her to lose her balance and fall on the pavement. “Right underneath the light, in the middle of the street, and a car almost ran her over because the car was coming down the road,” said Thomas.
The other woman, seen wearing a light-colored T-shirt and jean shorts, kept on running.
The woman in the green bikini then got up, charged at the store owner and ran off. The owner then walked over and grabbed what looks like store merchandise from the floor.
All of a sudden, a third woman, seen wearing a light-colored bikini, is seen running toward the owner and striking him with her bag. The shopper in the green bikini then joined her and both walloped the owner with their bags, causing merchandise to fly everywhere.
“[They] started swinging at the owner,” said Thomas. “He backed off, and they went laughing down the street.”
On Wednesday morning, detectives stopped by the store to speak with employees.
Mitch Novick who owns the Sherbrooke Hotel at Ninth Street and Collins Avenue said he heard about the commotion on social media. When he checked his surveillance cameras, he realized he captured the scene.
“Typical, this is an everyday event in the entertainment district,” Novick said.
Police have decided not to open an investigation.
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