The Magic Clean Robbery Story
A true story about the Miami Police in action
Written 5/06/2015 and rewritten 10/2016 unedited
It was summer afternoon in 1989, and I was sitting in my office when we received a phone call from my friend Adrian. Adrian was a mechanic who was leasing a former gas station located just across the street from one of our storage buildings.
Adrian’s gas station was located on the corner of NW 46 Street and NW 36 Avenue in Miami.
When Adrian called, he actually spoke to my partner Don and he said, “You guys better get over here right away, two guys are breaking into your storage yard and they are right across the street from me, I’m watching them as I talk to you”.
As I was sitting at my desk next to my partner Don, so I heard the entire conversation as it transpired, and I knew that the building Adrian was referring to was one of our warehouses and fenced in outdoor storage yard, that was located on the corner of NW 46 Street and 36 Avenue, right across from his station.
We had always referred to that building as our “Magic Clean” building, having named it after the carpet cleaning company that we had bought it from.
The Magic Clean building itself was about 4,000 square feet and it had a 4000 square foot fenced in yard next to it. The yard had a concrete wall and tall wire gate. The entire concrete wall and the gate had razor sharp concertina wire running all along the top.
At the time that Adrian called, we were using the building and the yard for storage of spare parts. So as soon as my partner Don received that call from Adrian, he immediately told Adrian to call the police, and then when he hung up the phone he started looking for his own police emergency phone number book, Don wanted to call police station himself.
While my partner Don was phoning the police, I went right out into our work shop and our warehouse where I rounded up a posse of around eight employees which included my son Jack.
As we all left our main building and quickly walked to Adrian’s station, our intention was to see exactly what the hell was going on. My partner Don then joined us, and he said that he had just reached the police department and had given them the address of where the break in was taking place.
So now, all ten of us had walked out of our main building, and jogged up the street to Adrian’s gas station, we were planning on waiting for the Police to confront the guys supposedly breaking into our building.
Once we were all gathered together in Adrian’s gas station, we looked across the street and clearly saw a faded maroon four door 1972 Chevrolet sedan parked in front of the gate of our Magic Clean building. The car was on the buildings lawn, but it was backed up to the driveway leading to the gate of the Magic Clean yard.
All the Chevrolets windows were wide open, as well as the trunk. We watched as a colored fellow who was in the drivers seat spotted us looking at him. We saw him looking, but we still didn’t make a move to cross the street. My partner Don went into Adrian’s office and used his phone to call the Police again.
Adrian told us he thought there were just two guys involved, and one of them had already climbed over the gate and concertina wire and was hiding inside the yard. Naturally we were all hoping that the Police would soon arrive to handle the situation for us. So nervously we all waited there in the gas station for what we thought was an eternity. After about fifteen minutes and no Police showed up, we all finally walked across the street, I was thinking of how to try keeping the crooks occupied until the police came.
As soon as we crossed the street, several of our employees went to stand beside and in front of the old Chevrolet. We could hear its engine was running and we saw the driver was sweating profusely, our employees told us later that they thought that the driver wouldn’t dare drive off with all of them standing there.
I walked over to the wire gate and peered into the yard. It was very difficult, to see if anyone was there because of all the wooden crates and barrels. After a while I saw a short wiry looking colored fellow trying to hide behind a fifty five gallon barrel. I also saw that he had already piled up quite a few items right near the gate, probably thinking to steal them by throwing them over it to his accomplice.
Not knowing exactly what to do, or when the Police would arrive, I clutched the fence with both hands and tried yelling to the fellow in the yard to come out. He didn’t move at all, so I kept on yelling at him to come out for several minutes.
That was when my son came over, tapped me on the shoulder and handed me his 357 magnum pistol.
So now, here I was, waving this monster pistol in the air, a pistol that was bigger than anything I had seen before.
I knew I never would have ever pulled the trigger, but the guy in the yard must have seen the size of the gun, and he decided it was better to climb over the gate and come out of the yard. As we all stood there staring in amazement, this wiry black guy gingerly climbed over the razor sharp concertina wire without so much as even scratching himself.
As soon as he was over the fence and had hit the ground, several of our employees grabbed his arms and tried to wrestle him down to the ground. I watched as they struggled with him, he was strong, and even with six guys hanging on they still couldn’t get him down to the ground.
As he dragged my guys out into the street, I put my hand on his arm trying to get him down. I watched as six of my guys were hanging on to him as he dragged them all out into the center of the street.
Now all the automobiles going by, had to slow down to get around us, but no matter how hard my men tried, they couldn’t get him down. People in the cars were now yelling at us and I saw the guy wiggle free and in the instant he did that, he nosedived into the open rear window of the car, and it took off at full speed. I heard someone yelling out for me to shoot the car’s tires out.
So now here we were about ten of us standing in the middle of the street, and with me standing there holding a giant 357 magnum pistol. Adrian’ mechanics were all standing there cheering us on, and some cars had even stopped thinking there was a murder or something going on.
As all this transpired, still no Police ever showed up.
We all decided to start walking back to our office, Adrian said to me that he had called the Police Station once again and he couldn’t understand why they hadn’t shown up.
So besides from Adrian, and my partner, the Police had been called four times.
Once I was back in my office I sat down in the air conditioning, I was sweating, and my hand was shaking. I sat there for about a half hour until I heard a loud commotion going on in front of our building.
I walked outside, only to see my son in a heated conversation with an irate, red faced police officer, and as the two of them were arguing, a second patrol car pulled up with two additional officers in it. My son was asking the first officer why they hadn’t responded to the break in, and why they had not responded to our four of our phone calls.
To this day I remember the irate, out of control police officer, his name was Holt. I could see he was visibly agitated, his face was bright red, and he was yelling at my son, “Do you know how far I had to drive to get here?” When he said that, I said to him, hey Officer Holt, that’s your job, isn’t it? Your job is to respond to these kinds of calls. We called you guys four times, and no one came, now both the crooks got away.
Well Officer Holt was livid and it appeared to me that he was going to pull his gun and arrest all of us, but just as he was reaching for his gun, the other two Police that had just arrived, grabbed his arm and they physically held him back. They said, “What’s going on here?” It appears they had already been to see Adrian on the corner and gotten an ear full there from him.
I again told them all about the guys that had broken into our property and how they had gotten away. That’s when the two cops said they were not here because of the robbery, or our calls.
They said that they came because someone had called saying that some white guy with a gun was beating up a black guy in the middle of NW 46th street. When he said that, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
After all the police left, I went back into my office, and I called the Police Station. I asked them if they had received our four phone calls regarding the break in. “They said no”, they had no record of receiving any calls from us regarding that.So here I was, still shaking from the altercation with the out of control police officer. I asked who I could speak to at the station to file a report on an out of control officer. The officer I was speaking with said that to make out a complaint report against a police officer I would have to come in and speak to the Major in charge. I asked if I could speak to him now, and they said he wasn’t in. I calmly asked who then could I report it to, they said that I should call back later in the week and someone might be there. I got the message loud and clear, and hung up the phone.