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Thieves Bust Through Wall, Steal Nearly Half-Million In E-Cigarette Goods

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maggieheadshot Maggie Newland
Maggie Newland is a reporter at CBS4. She arrived at the station ...
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South Florida Crime

DANIA BEACH (CBSMiami) – Barak Beleli woke up to the worst news a business owner can hear — his business had been burglarized.

Beleli, the owner of Dania Beach-based electronic cigarette company which supplies business all over the U.S., said the thieves made off with nearly half a million dollars worth of product.

“I’m speechless,” Beleli told CBS 4′s Carey Codd. “I don’t know what to say.”

Watch Carey Codd’s report, click here.

The surveillance video from inside the store said it all. According to Beleli, the thieves broke into a business behind his and used a truck to bust through an adjoining wall to get access to his store. He said the thieves spent hours inside his business cleaning out his shelves on Sunday night. Beleli said the bad guys also were careful to avoid alarms and motion detectors.

“It looked like they knew exactly where they coming to,” he said.

Beleli says the thieves took his best products, including more than 100,000 bottles of a liquid that he says is a popular item.

“It’s very hard to get the product in the market,” he said.

This isn’t the first time Beleli’s been through this. He showed CBS4 News surveillance video from his Hollywood store last year. He says it shows thieves breaking in, ripping apart his security system and loading up boxes with $150-thousand dollars worth of products.

Store manager Justin Darman said he could barely believe what he saw when he arrived on Monday morning. He said it’s clear that the product they’re selling is one that people want to get their hands on.

“This is like gold right now, this is like gold that’s why they’re breaking in like this, they want the product it’s hard to get this product—people are waiting months for it,” said Darman.

As workers repaired the busted wall, Beleli’s employees were concerned about their jobs. They wondered if the fallout from such a massive heist would be a loss of customers and business.

“How can the owner pay us to stay here if there’s no business?” said manager Justin Darman. “Because we can’t sell anything if we don’t have the products. We can’t sell the customers something we don’t have.”

Beleli said he does have insurance, which he hopes will cover a lot of his losses. He also said he is working diligently with his customers to keep them supplied and he plans to increase his security at his business.

If you have any information about the crime, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.

Watch Maggie Newland’s report, click here.

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