FT. LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA — A suspected assailant, Nicolas Richard Lee Deas, and another unidentified man, targeted a Family Dollar store on September 13, at around 10 p.m. Deas convinced an employee to let them in, claiming he left his cellphone inside. Quickly, the situation escalated when Deas demanded money, threatening the worker’s life. The employee was forced to the store’s safe and Deas, after obtaining $1,200, assaulted him with a firearm.
However, an armed owner of a neighboring store noticed the commotion and intervened. He confronted Deas, ordering him to drop his weapon, which Deas obeyed, while his accomplice escaped. The store owner detained Deas until police arrival.
Deas is now in custody without bond, facing multiple charges including armed robbery, aggravated assault with intent to commit a felony, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, grand theft of a firearm, and illegally carrying a concealed firearm. Police revealed the weapon used was stolen. The second suspect remains unidentified, and it’s unclear if he has been apprehended.
This incident underscores the risk faced by retail employees and highlights the role of prompt intervention by alert and courageous individuals in preventing crime. The unknown neighboring store owner’s quick response helped avert potential further harm to the employees and ensured one suspect was quickly apprehended.