Surveillance audio could be key to solving optical store burglary

- Burglars smashed their way into a north Tampa optical store, with their sights set on pricey sunglasses. Though we can see them on surveillance, an added bonus is, we can also hear them.

It happened early Thursday morning at  I-Care Optical on East Bearss Avenue. While the burglars took the time to cover their faces with pantyhose, they didn't cover their mouths.

"You actually see them getting their bags ready to put all the loot in, that they are going to steal, while they're still outside the store," said Debbie Carter, public information officer for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

After a few smashes, they grabbed for specialty sunglasses, mostly Ray Bans, worth around $100 and $200 each. The display cases were locked, so one of them decided to rip the entire thing off the display stand.

"They were locked," said I-Care employee Sharon Solano. "The key was actually still in it. Either they didn't realize that or they were in such a hurry."

"You can't go out the back? Can't go out the back door?"

That's what the audio from surveillance cameras reveals the men saying as they dug around the store. 

There's no such thing as a good criminal, but if there was, they'd follow a few simple rules: don't leave evidence behind and don't let your voice be heard.

Though they were in and out in less than two minutes, before they took off, they left detectives a little forensic help.

"One of the burglars had cut himself, so there was blood involved," Solano said.

Putting a name to that voice could be worth a Crimestoppers cash reward. Sound, which doesn't always accompany surveillance, will be a big factor in helping detectives track them down.

"A lot of times they are wearing disguises," Carter said. "Maybe you don't recognize the individual since they have something on out of the ordinary but maybe you recognize the voice"

With all of that evidence, it's going to take more than designer sunglasses to help the two suspects hide from deputies.

"We are honest hardworking individuals," Solano said. "For people to do things like this is just really frustrating."

At this point, Hillsborough deputies know very little about these suspects, in terms of a description.

Anyone with any information reference these suspects is asked to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at 247-8200 or anyone with any information regarding the identity and whereabouts of these suspects and who wants to be eligible for a cash reward is asked to call Crimestoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477).

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