Thief smashes Rolex case at jewelry store in Tampa Premium Outlet Mall

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Half an hour before closing time Sunday at Tampa Premium Outlet Mall, a man wielding a sledgehammer walked in at Helzberg Diamonds and smashed a case containing Rolex watches.

As an employee walked toward him, the thief began violently bashing the top of the case. He put the watches in a plastic grocery bag and took off.

Thankfully, a surveillance camera right behind the case caught an up-close view of the whole thing, including the man's face. Now, investigators hope someone recognizes the burglar and turns him in.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office said it happened around 6:30 p.m. The store's video shows the man looking at a case of jewelry in the middle of the store. That's when the worker starts walking toward him.

The man turns around to the back wall of the store and starts smashing a case. He hits it several times before his hammer becomes stuck in the glass. When he pulls back on it, the shattered glass panel comes completely out.

The suspect throws it aside and then starts loading his plastic grocery bag with Rolex watches.

The sheriff's office said he ran off through the parking lot.

He was described as a dark-complected black male who is about six feet tall and has an "athletic build." He was wearing a navy blue jacket with "True Religion" printed on the back, a tan baseball cap, and dark-colored sweatpants. 

Anyone who recognizes the suspect or knows anything about the burglary is asked to call the Pasco County Sheriff's Office at 1-800-706-2488 and reference case 19021897.