Surveillance footage shows the moment burglars broke into an iconic photo supply store and stole over $30,000 worth of cameras.
CBS News Miami reports that the burglars broke into Pitman Photo in Palmetto Bay, Miami at 00:52 on November 2 and stole 10 cameras and 21 lenses — which were worth $32,000 in total.
Pitman Photo, which has been open since 1928, is the longest-standing camera store in Miami. The burglars remain at large.
Pitman Photo owner Lauren Elsea shared the shocking surveillance footage with CBS News Miami. She is the fourth generation owner of the historic photo supply store after her great-grandfather founded it 95 years ago.
“They [the burglars] spent 10 minutes on the outside trying to break in through the glass trying to get in and they were beating on the door,” Elsea tells CBS News Miami.
“Once they came in, they were inside for less than a minute. They knew what they were after and then they got it.
“The alarm system went off and even though they were outside for 10 minutes they were inside for less than a minute so police got here really quickly.”
A Huge Hit for a Small Business
Elsea has filed a report with Miami-Dade Police and hopes that the burglars can be found.
“We don’t have many leads right now but hopefully someone can look at this idea and recognize them and look at their shoes, their hammer, the sticker on the back of their car and check out all the details,” she tells CBS News Miami.
“It is a huge hit. Pitman Photo is a small business and any small business that has a break like this with this level of damage, it is a very big hit.
“It is going to take a lot to catch up and it is right before the holiday shopping season so time is critical.”
However, Elsea wanted customers to know that Pitman Photo is still open despite the recent break-in.
She says: “I also want people to know that even though our front door is boarded up we are open for business.”
Elsea told the news outlet that Pitman Photo had been broken into before in September 2018, and burglars took several items. She revealed that the thieves from this previous incident had also not been caught.
“In 2018, we had a successful break-in and two attempted break-ins in that same year,” Elsea tells CBS News Miami.
“We were broken into through the front door and they came in and stole everything out of the Sony showcase.”
Anyone with information that can help should call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477). There is a reward of up to $1,000 and callers will remain anonymous.