Crooks ram van into boutique, steal merchandise
MIAMI (WSVN) -- Police are searching for the thieves who used a stolen van to ram into the front entrance of a South Florida boutique to steal pricey merchandise.
The store opened only six weeks ago before thieves took out its front doors. "Just deal with it. Just a minor bump in the road, and it happens, not just to me," said store owner Fred Mclendon. "It's not the end of the world, so you keep going."
The burglary happened a little after midnight, Monday, when the driver of a stolen van backed into Tanya-Marie Design store on Northeast Second Avenue and 46th Street. "A couple of guys came with a van, and they just break in and smashed and grab. That's what they did," said Mclendon. "A lot of damages to the building."
The thieves then rushed inside and stole several pieces of clothing, priced between $500 and $5,000.
Tanya Marie Mclendon, designer and store owner, said, "Basically what they took were custom gowns, they were all hand done and they were one of a kind. They were so cool and so different and I think that's what they came after," Tanya Marie said.
Police said the crooks dumped the stolen van a few blocks away and transported the pricey garments to another vehicle, before taking off. "I know one rack was [worth] about $35,000 to $40,000, and that was one rack," said Mclendon. "That's actually the rack it seems that they went after, so from here we'll just get all our workers to come in and go over inventory and go from there."
The designer said she has a long celebrity client list. She said she styled music producer Timberland's wedding and model Kimora Lee Simmons. Tanya Marie and her husband said this does not deter them. The couple said they love the chic atmosphere of the Design District and plan to stay there. "We're not going anywhere. We're gonna try and make our security a little bit tighter and just go on," she revealed.
Police are now searching for the burglars.
Security guards are expected to review video taken from several surveillance cameras in and around the business, while the store owner cleans up and makes repairs.
If you have any information on this burglary, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.
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