MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A trio of smash and grab thieve targeted two stores in north Miami-Dade overnight before crashing their getaway vehicle in Pembroke Pines.
In one of the stores, Three-80 at 19410 NW 27th Avenue in Miami Gardens, the crooks were after one of the hottest toys of the holiday season – hoverboards.
“Like lions going on prowl,” said Three-80’s owner Lawrence Mallard, “Wow, these guys were calculated.”
Surveillance cameras were rolling inside the two stores Wednesday morning while three thieves ransacked the places just before Christmas.
“Christmas is like our Super Bowl, it’s the busiest time of the year, so to have something like this happen two days before Christmas makes it tough,” said Mallard.
The first smash and grab occurred at the Purple Carpet clothing store on NW 119th Street near 7th Avenue in North Miami. They used a truck to smash in the roll down security door. Once inside they went straight for a specific brand of designer jeans. They stole two mannequins.
“The most likely scoped out the place before,” said North Miami police Officer Natalie Buissereth. “They knew what they were going for, absolutely, because they were in and out in like two minutes.”
“We lost about 20 pairs of Robin Jeans valued at about $600 a piece on average. That’s about 12 grand,” said Purple Carpet owner Gary Malik. “I come to work and grind hard every day. I have 12 employees to take care of and a family.”
Around 5 a.m., three masked men, believed to be the same group, pried open the door at Three-80 and stole clothes and hoverboards. On the store’s surveillance video, burglars can be seen using a cart to carry out the boxes of them.
Police said they drove the truck around to the back hoping it would be easier for loading. An alarm at the store alerted Miami Gardens police. After a short pursuit the truck crashed into a light pole on University Drive in Pembroke Pines
Chopper 4 over the scene spotted the truck filled with hoverboards, clothes and even a mannequin, but the jeans had already been unloaded.
“I’m sorry for the damage but I got some of the product backs and hopefully they catch these guys,” said Mallard.
“I’m looking forward to an optimistic Christmas,” said Malik who tried to look at the bright side. “Unfortunately it had to be right before Christmas but at the same time we got plenty of merchandise and plenty of things to sell.”