A maximum of 20 years imprisonment awaits two robbers after a Galleria Mall heist that caused panic among shoppers in Fort Lauderdale, according to the Sun Sentinel.

The day prior to the arrest, both suspects along with two accomplices reportedly barged inside the Galleria Mall, an upscale shopping center in the city, and forced everyone to get down. The police statement cited in the article also said that they used sledge hammers to smash the display cases of the Mayors store and pilfer its authentic Rolex watches and diamonds.criminal-defense

A 30-mile pursuit ensued when the robbers left the building with a fifth suspect waiting in their getaway vehicle. The chase ended when their car crashed and the five felons fled. Only two were accosted while the remaining three are still at large.

Federal robbery charges may range from incidents like the above to something less serious but still a misdemeanor, such as a college student threatening another to give him his or her money. Two factors distinguish robbery from two other similar felonies─ theft and burglary─ and a prosecutor will have to prove them against a criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale.

First is that the victim who owns or handles the property needs to have been nearby during the incident. This includes stealing a wallet from a stranger walking down the street or locking a store clerk outside to steal money from the cash register.

Another factor to be proven is the defendant’s use of any physical force or violence, even not explicitly, to threaten the victim to give up the property. With the examples cited above, the offender applies force when he yanks the wallet from the stranger’s hands in the same way a robber keeps the store clerk locked up in another room to raid the register.

Being falsely accused of federal robbery, regardless if it was a first degree offense, requires the accused to hire a seasoned Fort Lauderdale attorney like Richard F. Della Fera. Such lawyers do their best to fully represent your case in court knowing how stressful and intimidating it is to be arrested for a violation you didn’t commit. Trust them to defend you and you can look forward to a new beginning.


Galleria jewelry store heist suspects appear in federal court; others sought. Sun-sentinel.com. June 1, 2015.

Robbery Defenses. Criminal.findlaw.com