BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — By ANDREW COLTON, Editor and Publisher — A robbery in May at Table 42 in East Boca Raton has striking similarities to the weekend robbery at Josephine’s that left bartender and area realtor Rafeal Rodriguez dead.
Rodriguez, 46, was shot and killed outside Josephine’s where he stood with a waiter after the restaurant — at 5751 North Federal Highway — closed. Four armed black men, according to police, knocked Rodriguez to the ground, pistol whipped a waiter, and forced their way inside where they robbed several patrons and staffers of money and jewelry.
Rodriguez apparently said something to one of the thugs who opened fire and killed him.
BocaNewsNow.com reported on a similar restaurant attack in May. It happened on May 5th at Table 42, just a short distance from Josephine’s.
Here’s what we reported then:
Arriving officers met with several restaurant employees. A female kitchen worker told officers that two males entered the restaurant through an unlocked rear door, which enters into an alley. The suspects, both armed with black, semi-automatic handguns, pistol whipped the victim and demanded to know the location of the safe.
The suspects then entered the main part of the restaurant, where they encountered the manager and a bartender. The manager led the suspects to the safe, opened it, and gave them the cash that was inside. The suspects left the restaurant through the rear door.
The suspects may have fled the scene in a small silver car, which was seen leaving the area with its lights off about the time of the crime. The female employee was transported to Boca Raton Regional Hospital, where she was treated and released.
There are similarities in the suspect descriptions. According to Boca Raton Police:
SUSPECTS IN THE TABLE 42 ROBBERY:
#1 Dark skinned black male, 6’2” tall
#2 Black male, 5’10” tall
Both wore dark clothing and black ski masks.
SUSPECTS IN THE JOSEPHINE’S MURDER
1. Black male, tall, thin, long sleeved shirt, pants, baseball cap, backpack, black revolver, mask.
2. Black male, thin, below knee shorts, backpack, handgun, hood and mask.
3. Black male, medium build, pants, short sleeve shirt, bandana, ball cap, hand gun.
4. Black male, long sleeve dark shirt, below knee shorts, light shirt or scarf covering face.
Boca Raton Police Spokesperson Officer Sandra Boonenberg tells BocaNewsNow.com that detectives are investigating all leads at this point and are not ruling out a connection between the two attacks.
“The detectives have not drawn any conclusions at this point,” she says, “but are looking at all possibilities.”
Friends of Rodriguez, posting to BocaNewsNow.com, tell of a man who loved working with his girlfriend — restaurant owner Josephine Tribunella.
Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 800-457-TIPS, or the Boca Raton Police Department at 561-368-6201.