MIAMI (WSVN) - A South Florida business owner hopes clear surveillance video helps police catch the thieves who, he said, broke in and took off with hundreds of thousands of dollars in high-end watches.
The pricey heist went down May 1 at Grobartig Watch Company, located along the 13500 block of Southwest 128th Street.
“We were broken into. We were robbed the entire night, between 12 and about 6 a.m.,” said business owner Juan Torrens.
The security footage captured sparks flying as the crooks cut their way into the business using noisy power tools.
“They would cut my metal steel door,” said Torrens. “It is steel, and it has crosses in the middle.”
In addition to cutting the interior door, Torrens said, the crooks cut a steel gate on the outside.
Once they busted in, Torrens said, the subjects went to work and cleaned out the business, taking off with the expensive timepieces.
“All this here was full of watches,” he said as he pointed to now empty shelves.
The business is the main distribution center in the U.S. for TechnoMarine watches.
When asked for an estimated value of the swiped merchandise, the business owner replied, “It was about $900,000.”
When asked how many watch boxes the thieves took, Torrens said, “Hundreds, thousands.”
The crooks carried out the blue boxes, containing 10 watches each, that were stacked from floor to ceiling.
“They emptied us out,” said Torrens.
Audio from the surveillance video captured the perpetrators speaking with each other in Spanish.
According to the business owner, the thieves said they had filled their van to capacity, and they would have to come back to hit his business all over again if possible.
After the thieves fled, surveillance video at a nearby gas station showed the van making a right turn from Southwest 128th Street onto 137th Avenue.
Before they left, Torrens said, the subjects destroyed a utility room that powered the internet for the watch store and several other businesses.
Miami-Dade Police responded to the business shortly after.
The owners of the business have since added an extra layer of security where the steel door was located.
As of Friday night, the thieves remain at large.
“They knew there were plenty of watches here, and they sure worked for it,” said Torrens. “They came prepared. They were professionals; they came ready.”
Torrens believes this could have been an inside job.
The owners of Grobartig Watch Company are offering $5,000 for information about the theft in addition to the $5,000 being offered by Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers.
If you have any information on this theft or the subjects’ whereabouts, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $10,000 reward.
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