CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Smash and grab, burglars target one very expensive type of clothing

10-15 people tear apart high-end apparel store
Posted at 6:19 PM, Feb 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-10 18:19:34-05

Burglars steal thousands of dollars worth of clothing in a under three minutes. All of it caught on camera. Yet, the burglars skip through items of clothing because there’s one specific type of clothing they were targeting.

Two cars pulled up right in front of Urban Appeal and within seconds a group of people dash out. One of them picking up an outside decorative chair to smash the glass and get into the store.

It’s surveillance video instantly startling the person watching.

“it was just brutal," said Ellen Simms, the owner of Two Hens & a Hound. Her store is two doors down from Urban Appeal.

The surveillance footage shows a group of 10 to 15 people in a frenzy to steal as much as they could from the high-end apparel store. But you'll quickly notice the garbage bags ready in hand.

“it’s almost like they dissected the store, they knew exactly what to do and what to get," said Sgt. Gary Gross with Lakeland Police Department.

In less than three minutes they empty out the racks. Their target, jeans. More like $500-$600 pair of Robin Jeans. These were no amateurs. Gross said they’re likely a ring originating from Tampa or Orlando. They’ll resell the jeans for half the price.

“I’ve been here 12-years and we’ve never had anything like that happen," said Simms. She says the downtown is full of local owners and they all look after one another.

“When they did that smash and grab they invaded our homes," she said.

Meanwhile, Gross insists the owners did everything right. Working cameras and an alarm system that went off. Yet the crooks are experienced.

“It’s just a matter of time. They are going to slip up and we’re going to catch them," he said.

The owner is spending the day tallying up exactly how much was taken. He also says he's upping his security system by installing a $6,000 cage in his store.

For the burglars, getting caught could mean two felonies.