Cameras show thief walking out with $1,000 drone

- At Hobby Market Place you can test out model cars, planes and anything you can imagine, but one item always catches every ones' eyes.

"Everybody loves radio controlled gizmos and gadgets," said Jim Smentowski."Drones have definitely taken off literally in the last year or two."

On Tuesday, a man was caught on surveillance cameras going inside Jim's store at the Sarasota Square Mall.
He asked questions about a drone and then walked off with it.

"He very carefully timed his opportunity and was able to get out the door before we were able to apprehend him," said Smentowski.

Surveillance cameras captured the man and his crime. Jim doesn't want to admit just how many cameras he has, but he has enough that caught the man's every movement.

"He didn't realize just how many cameras are pointed at him otherwise I don't think he would have done it," said Smentowski.

Sarasota County deputies have dusted for fingerprints and are reviewing the video.

The drone cost about $1,000 dollars. It is a lot of money for the small shop.

"Things like this effect us in a big way and we take it very personally," he said.

Jim posted the footage on Facebook. It has been shared and liked thousands of times. The quality is so clear, Jim is certain someone will recognize the man.

"You maybe able to get out the store with something, but you aren't going to get away with something like this on this level. Everybody is going to see this. At this point when he thought no one was watching over 24,000 people have seen what he did," he said.

If you have any information on the case contact Criminal investigations at 941-861-4928 or Crime Stoppers of Sarasota at 941-366-TIPS. 

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