West Palm Beach police investigate spate of armed robberies

Posted at 5:36 PM, Jul 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-07 17:36:19-04

Thursday morning Jim, who doesn't want to reveal his last name, says he was on an early-morning bike ride to the library when he claims a tan-colored minivan stopped him near 31st Street and Poinsettia in West Palm Beach.

He says a man with a gun jumped out. "And stuck a gun at me."  'Give me all of your money, man' and I haven't got any, so I gave him my book bag and he seemed to be content with that."

Jim said the only things in the bag were books. "Good thing I didn't have my wallet with me. Probably would have been a different mind-set."

He says he's thankful because it could have been worse. "I'm glad they didn't get anything of value and that I wasn't shot."

He called West Palm Beach police.

While Jim talked with the investigating officer, a group of ladies walked up. They said that they had been robbed near Flagler Drive.  

And that's not all. West Palm Beach police confirm four armed robberies happened between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. All of the victims were either exercising or biking. iPhones were stolen.

Neighbors say they need to look out for each other.

"We have apps where everybody is in contact putting it there so that everyone knows  what's going on. And anything that happens can come through on our phones so that we know things are going on and we can look out," said Larry who lives near the scene of one of the armed robberies.

Jim realizes things could have been much worse. "It's one of those things in life that you have the moment decision, it put things very in perspective, I wasn't going to worry about those library books."

Police say that are looking for two men. Anyone with information should call Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-458-TIPS.