Robber Gives Up after Store Manager Talks to Him about Jesus

BY JAMES H. BURNETT III | Miami Herald

A remorseful robber left a Broward County cellphone store empty-handed after talking religion with the cool-headed manager. A Coral Springs man arrested on charges of robbing a Payless Shoe Store at gunpoint has now been slapped with addition criminal charges.

Investigators say he’s the same man who walked into a Metro PCS store intent on robbing it — only to have the store manager talk him out of it by urging him to seek Jesus.

The whole thing was captured on a store surveillance video.

Broward Sheriff’s robbery detectives say it was Israel Camacho, 37, the video they released of an attempted robbery last Friday at the Pompano Beach cellphone store.

In the video from his bungled heist, Camacho is seen repeatedly telling 20-year-old Nayara Goncalves that he’s sorry that he has to rob her.

(Photo by: Charles Trainor Jr / Miami Herald Staff)

Ultimately though, after spending five minutes urging Camacho to seek Jesus, Goncalves convinced him not to rob her. And he left the store apologizing and empty-handed.

But, he apparently wasn’t as repentant as he let on when he entered a Payless Shoe Store on Commercial Boulevard less than two hours later.

Investigators say Camacho put a handgun in a shoebox and forced the clerk to give him cash from the register. On his way out the door, Camacho said to his victims, “God bless you.”

BSO detectives say Camacho is a “serial robber,” matching him through the shoe store’s surveillance camera and witness testimony.

They arrested him two days later.

Camacho, who has been in and out of Florida jails since 1998, served 18 months in prison six years ago, for forging documents and grand theft.

He’s also being held in Broward County Jail for failure to pay child support.

Watch the video: Miami Herald

BY JAMES H. BURNETT III | jburnett@MiamiHerald.com

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