Smash and grab thieves hit jewelry stores in two counties

Police say suspects likely are the same
Posted at 6:30 PM, Jul 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-13 18:30:43-04

Thursday morning, it’s clean up time at The Jeweler in Zephyrhills. The glass on the front door is gone after thieves broke through just before 4 am.

Surveillance video shows them doing it. 5 thieves wearing hoodies made their way into the family owned business.

The cases on the right appear to be empty, so they go to work on the one to the left. They kick the glass, then knock over the case to get what is inside.

Zephyrhills police say they got there 30 seconds after they were called, but it was too late.

Investigators said this burglary is likely connected to another one that happened about an hour later in Lakeland at Max’s Jewelers.

The owner there said the good stuff was locked up and the thieves didn’t really get away with anything.

But it appears to be the same group of criminals.

Lakeland police are working with ZPD to stop them before they strike again.

“It’s certainly disturbing and we are going to do our best to put some people in jail," said ZPD Captain Derek Brewer.

These smash and grabs come after a string of recent break-ins at Bay area gun stores, including one also in Zephyrhills where thieves used a truck to smash into the Sunshine State Armory. Two teens were eventually arrested in that case.