Sunday, May 30, 2010

Retail factories looted -- Daytona Beach, FL

Professional thieves familiar with the operations of a sunglasses factory on Mason Avenue broke into the business and stole merchandise with a retail value of $500,000 to $1 million, police said.



"Somebody had a lot of knowledge about the business. The burglary was executed professionally," said Daytona Beach police Sgt. Billy Rhodes. "It was meticulously executed by people who knew exactly what to do and what not to do."

Police were called to the business, Costa Sunglasses Co., at 2361 Mason Ave., on Monday after an employee discovered the door's magnetic locks were deactivated, police said.

The sunglasses taken included some manufactured for client Cabela's Sporting Goods, said Chas McDonald, president of the company.

A police report of the burglary said Cabela retails the sunglasses between $179 and $249 each.

McDonald said Tuesday the value of the merchandise taken was less than police estimated, putting the loss at under $500,000. An inventory was still being done Tuesday, he said.

"Our workforce is deployed and we continue to produce, do quality-assurance tests and ship quality goods to our customers," McDonald said.

The suspects, at least three, cut wires disabling telephones, security cameras, the alarm and computer systems of the business Sunday night. The thieves moved a photocopier and a tree planter in the middle of the area where the sunglasses were stored, preventing their images from being recorded by cameras as they destroyed them.

The masked suspects then lined up 12 pallets of merchandise near a door, moved them with pallet jacks, secured them with packing wrap then loaded them on a semi-trailer, police said.

Investigators are not ruling out that it possibly was an inside job, Rhodes said.

"It's something we'll be looking at," Rhodes said.

McDonald said he did not believe the heist was an inside job and said he does not suspect his employees.

"I don't believe that's the case," McDonald said.

The burglary remains under investigation. In addition to the merchandise, the burglars also took a computer monitor and hard drive, said Daytona Beach police spokesman Jimmie Flynt.

Another high-dollar break-in was happening simultaneously a little more than five miles away.

Between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. burglars used forklifts inside Parker Boats, 872 N. Tomoka Farms Road, to assist in stealing more than $100,000 in boat motors. Six motors were taken by thieves who cut open a fence to the business, and covered cameras while they worked.

Police did not say whether the burglaries are connected.

http://www.news-journalonline.com/news/local/east-volusia/2010/05/26/police-professional-thieves-rob-factory.html

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