Miami Heat guard Roger Mason Jr. and his family members were victims of an armed robbery at a Miami restaurant on Sunday night, with the thieves making off with his Rolex watch and his sister's purse. Gunshots were reportedly fired in the incident, but nobody was hit.
The robbery took place at Ni.Do. Caffe, an Italian restaurant on Biscayne Boulevard, after the Heat's 99-98 win over the Charlotte Bobcats, according to Dawn Brooks of Miami ABC affiliate WLPG Local 10:
According to police, four suspects barged into the restaurant and robbed all patrons of their valuables.
On Monday, police recognized a black Cadillac Escalade as the vehicle that was used in the getaway after the robbery. When they attempted to pull the vehicle over, the driver refused and a chase began.
The driver and one passenger were finally apprehended at NW 148th Street and 18th Avenue after ramming a police cruiser, which caused the offending vehicle to stop.
One of the men was slightly injured, but was treated at the scene.
Among the items recovered by police were a Rolex with a serial number matching Mason's watch and the purse stolen from Mason's sister.
"Everything is recovered," said Miami Police Officer Fredericka Burden, according to WSVN-TV. "It is very rare and we think the public actually gave us information, the people that actually witnessed the robbery and the way our detectives responded to it, it turned out perfect."
Police said the two men — 32-year-old Rashaud Stroud and 30-year-old Steven Dawson — have been charged with armed robbery with a firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm while committing a felony, according to NBC Miami. Dawson's also been charged with possession of stolen property, and Stroud apparently "admitted to the robbery after his arrest," according to an arrest report obtained by NBC Miami. Police continue searching for the two other suspects involved, according to Local 10.
Mason hasn't yet commented publicly on the incident — he'll reportedly speak with the media on Tuesday before the Heat take on the Detroit Pistons — but his coach offered some brief thoughts, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel:
"It was a scary moment,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We talked about it as a team. Thankfully, they came out of it [unharmed]. You have to count your blessings sometimes. There are so many unpredictable things that can happen when you think you’re just going out for a nice dinner. Thankfully, everybody is safe and two of the people have been caught.”
Mason isn't the first Heat player to fall prey to a criminal attack in recent memory. Last season, Chris Bosh's Miami Beach home was burglarized, with an estimated $340,000 worth of items stolen while he was celebrating his 29th birthday; 10 days later, teammate Udonis Haslem's South Florida home was also burglarized.
“We’ll continue to talk about it,” Spoelstra said, according to Winderman. “This brings it back to light and awareness will certainly have to be something that our guys understand.”
The 33-year-old Mason has played sparingly in his first season in Miami, making six appearances for the 14-3 Heat and averaging three points and one assist per game.
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