WATCH: Smash-and-Grab Thieves Snatch $20K in Goods from D.C.-Area Eyeglass Store, Police Say

WATCH: Smash-and-Grab Thieves Snatch $20K in Goods from D.C.-Area Eyeglass Store, Police Say

Police say five suspects remain on the loose after they carried out a smash-and-grab robbery at a Virginia eyeglass store last month, making off with $20,000 in eyeglass frames.

Four suspects carried out the robbery on April 19 at My Eye Dr. in the 6300 block of Richmond Highway in Alexandria, Virginia, just south of Washington, DC, the Fairfax County Police Department said in a release. Officers responded to the scene at 6:22 p.m.

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

“The cops are on the way, man,” one person seems to tell suspects.

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

The FCPD described the suspects as four black males between the ages of 17-23 who wore masks, hoods, and gloves. The release noted a fifth man waited for the suspects “in an older-model black Toyota Camry with tinted windows and black hubcaps.”

New video of the latest smash and grab at an eye glasses store.
This one at the MrEyeDr in Alexandria. Employees say they were after the high-end brands – $20,000 lost in products and damage.

— Casey Nolen (@CaseyNolen) May 6, 2022

“These crimes, they’re so quick,” FCPD Lt. James Curry told WJLA. “And when you watch the cell phone video, you find yourself holding your breathe, and we’re fortunate no one was injured in this case. That’s the last thing we want.”

He noted the suspects could sell the stolen merchandise in a variety of ways:

There are so many different ways that these individuals could be distributing them or selling them. You know, 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 really good deal without being able to tell that it’s stolen property.

Capt. Fredrick Chambers, FCPD’s commander of the Criminal Investigations Division, said detectives are investigating the incident along with a string of similar robberies that have occurred in the greater D.C. area:

Detectives are following up on leads and are aware of similar incidents throughout the National Capital Region. Detectives continue to work with our law enforcement partners in the region to identify the suspects involved in this incident and are closely examining others that fit this same troubling pattern. We are asking for information from our community and reminding them they can remain anonymous through our Crime Solvers tip line.

Smash-and-grab and flash mob-style robberies have become prevalent in metro areas across the country over recent months, including major lootings that occurred during Thanksgiving Week in California, Minnesota, and Chicago. In March, police said smash-and-grab robbers targeted a Beverly Hills jewelry store with sledgehammers in a daytime robbery. In a separate incident on April 15, police said a pair of hammer-wielding suspects carried out a smash-and-grab robbery at a Kay Jewelers in Brea, California.

Nick Gilbertson