DORAL (CBS4) — A Doral couple is pleading for the public’s help after burglars stole $150,000 worth of high-end sunglasses from their business early last Sunday morning.
“It’s disappointing. It’s crazy. Now we have to start all over again,” said Gricel Piwko, the co-owner of Star Optical.
“They took a lot of product, say close to $150,000 in product.”
Piwko told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “It hurts. It hurts a lot. It’s emotional and businesswise you know with the economy as bad as it is. This affects me a lot. We’ve been here 14 years and nothing like this has ever happened here before. It is safe.”
Surveillance tape shows what happens just before 1 a.m. on January 12th inside Star Optical at 2271 NW 102nd Place.
Piwko said the burglars smashed a hole in one of the walls on the second floor of the business and broke in.
Police said they were inside the business for about an hour. They did not trigger an alarm until they went down to the first floor. Surveillance tape shows four burglars grabbing and putting the sunglasses in dark plastic bags and then running away after the alarm has been triggered.
Police responded within four minutes but the burglars had fled.
Surveillance tape shows three men wearing grey, black and pink hoodies. Another image shows the face of one burglar inside a dark room. Another image from a surveillance camera shows the two getaway vehicles: a white van and a dark van or truck.
“They looked as if they were not scared at all,” said Piwko. “They had hoodies on and maybe the way they were dressed someone will recognize them and call police.“
“It would be so satisfying if they were caught so they wouldn’t do it again. It would mean they wouldn’t do it to people in the area. So please, please call the police right away. We’ll see if maybe we can catch them,” said Piwko.
“We work hard,” said Piwko. “We worked so hard for so long and then now this, for someone to come in and take these sunglasses.”
Doral Police Sgt. Carlos Arango said, “I think they have a very good idea that there are surveillance cameras. But they have taken steps to cover their faces and keep their identities from being revealed. What’s interesting about this burglary is that the subjects do not seem to be in a hurry. They seem to know what time they have to expedite their departure.”
Piwko told D’Oench the burglars took sunglasses with brand names that include Lacoste, 9 West, Ungaro, Sean Jean, Jones N.Y., Guess Sun, Gant, Blue Marine, Trussardi and Cerruti.
“These kinds of sunglasses can be sold anywhere, on Craigs List, on EBay or sold at flea markets or even other retail establishments,” said Arango. “We’re hoping that anyone getting an exceptional deal in eyeglasses would be kind enough to call, to give us a call if they know of someone giving them an exceptional prices on sunglasses.”
“Whenever we can identify a crew of burglars and arrest them, this would be obviously a relief to others who have businesses in the area,” said Arango.
Piwko said the burglars also stole cash and other items from her business.
Unfortunately, her company’s losses were not covered. She said she and her husband had cancelled the insurance on their business because it increased to $15,000 a year.
“Plus we thought we were safe,” she said. “This is such a good area in Doral.”
Anyone with information about the burglars should call Doral Police Detective Luis Fernandez at (305) 593-6699, x2528 or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).