The three men who broke into a Seattle optometrist’s office this past week may not have realized that a total of nine surveillance cameras were silently recording everything they did. The burglars ransacked Dr. Jeanette Pham’s office, ultimately getting away with merchandise worth almost $60,000 in total.
The videos have been released to local news channel KING 5 in hopes that the thieves will be identified and caught. Naturally, Dr. Pham is upset over the incident. “We’re here to serve people, make sure they can see well, and I can’t believe someone can come in and take everything away from me,” she said, adding that there have been an “endless string” of break-ins at the building, which is owned by the Seattle Housing Authority.
The video shows the three men ransacking the store — they took every pair of frames and glasses made by high-end designers including Coach, Armani and Gucci. Either for the purpose of staying undetected, or for making it hard for cameras to identify them, the men turned off the lights before they bagged their loot. The camera showed the men walking into the store — so far, there are no signs of forced entry.
“We have compassion for these other Seattle companies,” says Michael Nekahi, owner of Black Pine Spas and Leisure Products. “We have never experienced such a break-in ourselves, however, I can imagine what a disruption to the business it can be and the down time while things get back on track can be very costly. We personally try to take necessary precautions and invest in monitored security along with proper insurance coverage to both avoid and mitigate any loss.
Both a jewelry store and a cell phone store in the same building have reported two break-ins each within the past year. The thieves entered the stores through a limited access back door, and Pham thinks this detail could indicate an inside job. “It has to be someone inside the building or someone that works in this building,” she said. “No one from outside could get in through that door.” According to the Seattle Police, the investigation remains open and active.