By Peter D'Oench

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A cellphone store owner says he has learned that 32 MetroPCS stores in South Florida were victimized by looters as Hurricane Irma was bearing down on the area.

Sam Brejt tells CBS4’s Peter D’Oench in an exclusive interview that looters struck his store at 254 N.W. 36th St. sometime between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Sunday, September 10th. Brejt says the criminals drove their truck through the front glass door, causing $10,000 worth of damage just to the door itself.

They even left behind some evidence, which included a piece of the truck’s front bumper and a receipt from another store.

“This front door was totally mangled when they drove a truck through the front door,” said Brejt. “It was clearly announced that government agencies wouldn’t be on the streets so I’m pretty sure that they were keying on central locations to hit. They could have been here for 24 hours because there was no one to stop them during the storm. No police, nothing.”

Brejt’s business is just two and a half blocks west of where looters were captured on camera at Midtown that same Sunday. Police said six people were caught in three incidents at Midtown. A total of 19 people were arrested in burglaries around the city. Police at the time said looting and attempted looting was reported in 26 incidents.

It is not known if the Midtown looters targeted Brejt, as well.

CBS4 has learned the criminals also stole more than $19,000 worth of items from another MetroPCS store at 3020 N.W. 7th Ave. A manager said these thieves also drove their truck through the front door.

Brejt said he lost more than a hundred cell phones and iPhones, as the store was ransacked.

“We had a safe and in that safe was a myriad of items from Apple, Samsung, and LG, from high tier to low tier,” said Brejt.”

Most items were not insured.

“It is extremely costly to insure electronic items,” he said. “It is a very risky business and not feasible to insure.”

Brejt is discouraged because some items were stolen by people after the looters left.

“MetroPCS tries to serve underserved neighborhoods because we try to work within the community,” said Brejt. “It hurts when a few people in the community are trying to take advantage in this fashion.”

He made an appeal to the thieves.

“Please just bring back the equipment if you know who did it,” he said. “Just tell them to bring back the equipment. It is of zero use. All equipment is blacklisted. There is nothing they can do to connect it to any wireless carrier.”

Brejt said stolen phones are “blacklisted.” That means the serial numbers of those phones are reported to a database that is shared by wireless carriers denying activation.

He said based on his conversations with witnesses, he believes that between 7 and 10 people victimized his business and that they are part of an organized ring of thieves.

Anyone with information that can help police should call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).

Peter D'Oench

Comments (29)
  1. reparations, baby. reparations.

  2. Sad–where are the police in a follow up? No video this was before the storm so power was on. Or is lawlessness part of this sanctuary city?

  3. Looting, endless welfare, no family responsibility, no daily working grind, perpetual victim status = black privilege.

  4. The left will say, ‘it’s not looting if your stealing food’. Are they gonna shove cell phones down their throats?

  5. Just misunderstood youth with a color to their skin…Please lets give them a Free pass for all the European sins of giving them such a great country.

  6. “Metro PCS tries to serve under served neighborhoods becauise we try to work within the community,” said Brejt.”

    And just what business school did you learn this in? When you sleep with snakes, don’t complain when you get bit by one.

  7. You can take the darky out of the jungle but you can’t take the jungle out of the darky.

  8. Spin Cycle says:

    And…. a year from now the “civil rights leaders” will complain that there are no retail stores in their neighborhoods.

    It isn’t that retail stores don’t want to do business there… it is a more a case of the cost of being victimized by shoplifters and looters is just too high. The real problem is that these areas just aren’t a good risk for business owners.

  9. Jim Morrison says:

    The Mass Media did their part to protect Obama’s lil darlins from being stereotyped and generally breezed over the looting.
    If Obama was still in office CNN would have been claiming they were ‘protesting’ violent weather.

  10. How can stolen phones be used.Can’t they be blocked why they try to go on line?

    1. That’s exactly what was noted in the article. These devices are blacklisted, meaning that identifying data is submitted to a database that prevents them from connecting to a wireless network. Now, that may not preclude selling them outside the U.S. if they’re GSM phones, but CDMA phones would certainly be of no use. Doesn’t matter. They’ll sell them to unsuspecting fools who want high dollar items on the cheap and those poor saps will be stuck with them and be out their money.

  11. Joe Pace says:

    If obama had a son…he would be looting like the rest of these savages!

  12. Dan Komperda says:

    They looked like disgruntled Irish postal workers to me… Hmmm

  13. Look, this just goes to show you how much the officials hype these storms. 90% of the people could remain and would not need to evacuate at all.

  14. We know what Trayvon Martin would have been doing if he was still alive and in Florida.

  15. Dan Dailey says:

    I bet these fools wouldn’t steal from a store that sells heavy duty power equipment.

  16. Probably an inside job. Sales were declining anyway. An alternative to a corporate bankruptcy.

  17. Lilith Whyte says:

    Obama did promise the ghetto dwellers free cel phones.

  18. Doug Day says:

    Dat’s just my hussle, man…

  19. ernie4 says:

    The black community is morally bankrupt.
    There can be no blessings or prosperity
    from the Almighty, just Judgement.
    Own it.

  20. They were just trying to better themselves, right?

  21. Mike Arvand says:

    No need to guess the perps. Set up a BLM rally and arrest them all. They’ll be there, and using the devices to get the information.

    As it always has been with these people. The only solution to them is to shoot the looters.

  22. John Jupiter says:

    Kneee Grooows are always stealing,,,best to kill them all

  23. Blacks and looting go hand in hand with rioting and property destruction whenever the opportunity presents itself.
    Looters should be shot on sight, with no questions asked!!

  24. Mike Arvand says:

    Just think If the founding fathers hadn’t decided to be magnanamous and end slavery. none of this would be happening.

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