Smash-and-Grab thieves hit DC-Area eyewear store

Police say five suspects remain at large after robbing a Virginia eyewear store last month, taking $20,000 worth of eyeglass frames.

Four suspects committed the April 19 robbery at My Eye Dr. in the 6300 block of Richmond Highway in Alexandria, Va., just south of Washington, DC, the Fairfax County Police Department said in a statement. . Officers arrived at the scene at 6:22 p.m.

Surveillance video released by the FCPD shows the suspects smashing glass display cases and clearing shelves.

“The cops are on the way, man,” one person appears to be saying to the suspects.

The group obtained $20,000 worth of glass frames before fleeing the store, according to the FCPD.

The FCPD described the suspects as four black men between the ages of 17 and 23 who wore masks, balaclavas and gloves. The statement said a fifth man was waiting for the suspects “in an older-model black Toyota Camry with tinted windows and black wheel covers.”

“These crimes, they’re so fast,” FCPD Lt. James Curry told the WJLA. “And when you watch the cellphone video, you find yourself holding your breath, and we’re lucky no one was hurt in this case. That’s the last thing we want.

He noted that suspects could sell the stolen merchandise in different ways:

There are so many different ways these people could distribute or sell them. You know, the Facebook Marketplace is an avenue where people can sell them, Offer Up and other platforms like that, third-party vendors that allow you to go online with a bit of anonymity. Some people might see it as a very good deal without being able to say that it is stolen property.

Capt. Fredrick Chambers, commander of the FCPD’s Criminal Investigations Division, said detectives are investigating the incident as well as a series of similar robberies that occurred in the greater DC area:

Detectives are following leads and are aware of similar incidents in the National Capital Region. Detectives continue to work with our law enforcement partners in the region to identify suspects involved in this incident and are closely examining others who match this same troubling pattern. We request information from our community and remind them that they can remain anonymous through our Crime Solvers advice line.

Smash-and-grab and flash mob robberies have become common in metropolitan areas across the country in recent months, including major lootings that took place during Thanksgiving week in California, Minnesota and Chicago. In March, police said thieves targeted a Beverly Hills jewelry store with hammers during a daytime robbery. In another incident on April 15, police say a pair of hammer-wielding suspects robbed a Kay Jewelers in Brea, California.


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