Thieves focus on high end eye frames in Bay area

Posted at 4:54 PM, Oct 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-12 16:54:07-04

Detectives with Tampa police and Hillsborough County are looking into half a dozen burglaries at optical stores over the last several months.

Recent surveillance video from Tampa police shows three suspects stealing $7,000 worth of eyeglasses at the Patterson Eye Center off Kennedy Boulevard.

The suspects used a pry bar to enter the business, and once inside they used plastic garbage bags to stuff merchandise.

Detectives say the glasses were high-end frames.

There have been five other cases in Hillsborough County since May.

Those stores reported stolen high end sunglasses.

Mark Carson with Carson Optical in Brandon was hit on June 18th, but the suspects did not make off with any items like in the past.

"Every pair of sunglasses is packed up, locked up behind steel doors," he said.

Carson, like others in the optical business, has invested in surveillance, shatter proof windows, and alarm systems.

"It seems they still find a way in."

The latest break-in, suspects only got inside but did not make off with any goods like the past.

Carson said the trend is usually sunglasses at these locations.

However, it appears the suspects had their eyes on more in Tampa with the thousands of dollars stolen eyeglasses.

Detectives believe these stolen items are sold online or at flea markets.

If you have any information you can call Crimestoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS.