Thieves target high-end eyewear retailers

Anjuli Davis reports

- Tampa police are investigating a new crime trend. They say criminals are targeting doctors' offices that sell high-priced eye glasses.

Surveillance video from earlier this month caught brazen thieves backing up a van to a doctor's office on Kennedy Boulevard in Tampa.

"They pull up in a van, you can see the van clear as day, right by the door. They walk by, making sure no one is in there, I assume," Tampa Police Department's Steve Hegarty said Tuesday. "And they just make a forced entry," 

Once inside, two men in hats, gloves, and hoodies clear the walls of designer glasses straight into a garbage bag, stealing thousands of dollars worth of inventory.

Since May, Tampa police and Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies have investigated six cases at optical shops across town. Now, police are trying to track the bold burglars down before they strike again.

"I don't know if they're all related, they might be related. But someone's making a living off of doing this sort of thing," Hegarty said. 

Police believe the eyeglasses are being sold at a discounted rate, either online or elsewhere. Anyone with information on any of the crimes is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS. 

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