A string of smash-and-grabs at eyeglass stores in the Washington, D.C., area last month saw thieves target high-end frames and make off with tens of thousands of dollars in merchandise.
At least three optical stores were targeted in broad daylight during business hours in January. The thieves posed as customers and asked questions about designer frames before shattering glass cases with hammers, WRC-TV reported.
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Eye See Optique in Arlington, Va., was robbed on Jan. 11 when five suspects filled trash bags with Cartier, Dior and Gucci frames – worth about $60,000, the station reported.
Owner Waheed Abbasi told the station that the thieves were “just grabbing whatever they were able to get their hands on.”
“I’m happy that our clients are safe, I’m happy that Mary and I are safe,” Abbasi said.
Another theft was reported on Jan. 20 when Bauer’s Optical in Alexandria, Va., was targeted, and four days later thieves struck MyEyeDr in Washington, D.C., according to the station.
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The thieves fled Bauer’s Optical with 40 eyeglass frames worth about $17,000, the report said.
The latest reported incident happened on Tuesday at a Village Eye Center in McLean, Va., when four males entered the store and smashed display cases, the Patch reported. It was unclear how much the stolen merchandise was worth.
Thefts have also taken place after stores have closed for the day, with burglars smashing through glass doors and rifling through cases to grab as many eyeglass frames as they can carry.
One such robbery unfolded at a LensCrafters on Dec. 1 in Bethesda, Md., just seven miles from D.C.
Montgomery County police released video of the theft on Wednesday, showing three men break through the lower glass pane of the store’s door, crawl through it and load bags with eyewear.
Fox News reached out to the Montgomery County Police Department to learn how much the stolen merchandise was worth, but didn’t immediately hear back.
It was unclear whether any of the D.C.-area smash-and-grabs were related. No arrests in any of the cases have been announced as of Sunday.
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Thieves have set their eyes on expensive frames at stores in other cities across the country, including New York and Chicago.
In November, a trio of thieves walked into a LensCrafters Optique just after 9 a.m. in Manhattan and swiped multiple trays that held Prada, BB, Tory Burch, Versace, Gucci, Coach and BV frames, the New York Post reported. The eyewear was worth a total of $23,247.
Last week, at least two eyeglass stores in Chicago were broken into overnight and robbed of designer frames, FOX32 Chicago reported.