Gold Apparently Motivates 3 Shootings

November 3rd, 2009 by

MIAMI (justnews.com)– Police are investigating three different shootings, one of which was fatal, and the motive in all three cases appears to be the theft of gold jewelry.
Lombardo Echane, 35, was shot four times Sunday by a man who demanded his gold chains as he unloaded his kids from his family’s car, police said. He was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital in critical condition.

“My sister says she saw him take off everything and give it to him,” said Lidia Gutierrez, Echane’s sister-in-law.
Echane’s shooting was the second violent gold heist in as many weeks in Miami-Dade County.
Last weekend, at a Miami Gardens flea market, a man was shot in the back as he carried his toddler in the parking lot. The crook got his gold, and the victim may be paralyzed.
“I mean, if you’ve already got the chain, why do you have to go and shoot somebody, somebody who’s got a baby in their hands?” said Cathy Garcia, the victim’s mother-in-law.
It is unclear whether the cases are connected, but the pricey precious metal appears to be the motive in both violent heists, Local 10′s Roger Lohse reported. Gold is fetching top dollar on the market right now at $1,000 per ounce.
While police cannot say gold’s price is causing an uptick in violent robberies, Yvonne Youngblood said the anecdotal evidence is deadly. Her son, Toriano Youngblood, was shot to death during a robbery in his North Miami home in September. Among the items taken were his thick, gold chain and a medallion with an image of Jesus on it.
“I think it’s a heartless killer who would rob somebody of a medallion like that. I feel like that person doesn’t care about God or the person he killed,” said Yvonne Youngblood.
Police said they hope someone recognizes the unique medallion.
Gold might be a safe investment on Wall Street these days, but apparently it is not on the streets of South Florida. Police urged people not to wear their jewelry on the outside of their clothes or in plain view, but if they must, they should be aware of their surroundings.
“Unfortunately, these are the sorts of things we have to deal with, people stealing things from other people and not wanting to work for them, and the easiest route is just to stick a gun in someone’s face and say, ‘Give it to me,’” said Lt. Neal Cuevas, of the North Miami Police Department.
Anyone with information in any of the crime is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS (8477).


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