2 jittery crooks get little but grandmother's wrath

April 27, 1993|By Knight-Ridder Newspapers

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. -- Two jittery robbers armed with semiautomatic handguns burst into a Pembroke Pines house full of children.

All they got was a safe full of pennies, some doll jewelry and Christmas decorations -- and the scolding of their lives from a protective grandmother.

The men posed as flower deliverymen with daisies for Patricia Marshall's daughter.

But when Ms. Marshall opened the door of her home, one of the men pointed a gun in her face. They forced her inside, ordering her and her five grandchildren to be quiet.

Ms. Marshall doesn't take orders well.

"He pushed me so I pushed him back," said Ms. Marshall, 63, a slight, gray-haired woman.

"I said you're a poor robber. You're more nervous than I am; you're shaking like a leaf. Is this your first time?"

She continued to nag the robbers as some of her grandchildren cried and the men searched the house and demanded her safe.

She demanded identification, kept making fun of the nervous twitch of one robber whose leg trembled, and pointed out their mistakes -- telling them they should have worn masks and gloves.

Some of her grandchildren tried to restrain her.

"I was real scared because my grandmother just wouldn't shut up," said Crystal Chamberlain, 11, of Pembroke Pines.

The robbers searched the house haphazardly looking for jewelry, but they failed to take the gold chains some of the girls were wearing.

Then they used duct tape to tie up the legs and hands of Ms. Marshall and four of the children, including Crystal, her sister Tiffany, 12, their friend Jessica Pennington, 13, and their cousin Kevin Lutz, 6, all of Pembroke Pines.

They left the youngest child, Lauren Lutz, 3, untied. None was hurt, and untied themselves immediately and called police.

Hours after the robbery, when her children surrounded her and told her how lucky she'd been to escape harm, Ms. Marshall was unapologetic.

"They made me mad as hell," was her simple explanation.

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