Armed Thieves Held Lauderdale Lakes Restaurant Workers Hostage: BSO | NBC 6 South Florida

Armed Thieves Held Lauderdale Lakes Restaurant Workers Hostage: BSO

1 arrested, authorities looking for 3 more in armed robbery at restaurant



    (Published Friday, April 4, 2014)

    One man is in custody and authorities are searching for three others after employees of a Lauderdale Lakes restaurant were held at gunpoint during an armed robbery caught on camera.

    The robbery happened just after 11 p.m. on March 28, as the employees of La Granja at 3399 N. State Road 7 were closing up for the night, the Broward Sheriff's Office said.

    Authorities say a group of armed men forced the employees and manager into the restaurant and held them hostage, threatening to shoot them in the head as they demanded money from the restaurant's safe.

    The four men fled the scene, but deputies found one of the suspects, 19-year-old Ralph Estelhomme, running in the parking lot of a nearby apartment building, the BSO said.

    Estelhomme, who wielded a shotgun during the robbery, tried jumping into a canal to escape but was taken into custody, the BSO said. He faces robbery, aggravated assault and kidnapping charges, and remains behind bars without bond.

    Authorities said Estelhomme is a known associate of men with street names "Juvi" and "Boosi" who may have been involved in this robbery and a second similar robbery at a Lauderdale Lakes Dollar General in March.

    Anyone with information is asked to call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.