A band of burglars can be seen in surveillance video smashing the glass doors of a collectible streetwear shop in the Fairfax district before sweeping into the store and taking off with what the owners estimate is around $100,000 to $200,000 in stolen goods.
Davon Artis, one of the owners of CoolKicksLA, said the heist seemed “very planned out” and the items stolen from the shop on Melrose Avenue are difficult — if not impossible — to replace.
The burglary happened around 4 a.m. on Monday, when surveillance video released by the store shows a man dressed in black trying to break open the front door using a large bolt cutter. When that fails, he walks away and returns later with a portable grinder.
He can be seen using the machinery to try opening the door again, with sparks flying all around. Cars are seen in the background driving by as the burglar keeps trying to make his way in.
He leaves again and comes back — this time with an accomplice. Using a large sledgehammer, the pair again tries to break open the door. As they smash the glass, an alarm goes off and several burglars can be seen running into the store moments later.
Three vehicles can be seen parked outside the store as burglars are seen running from two of them. At least five burglars are seen running into the shop.
From inside the store, the thieves are seen sweeping whole racks of clothes into bags as they run into certain areas of the shop. According to the store’s owners, they targeted the most expensive items right away.
“I think they have been in before because they knew exactly where to go,” said one of the store’s co-owners, Adeel Shams.
According to Shams, the thieves strayed away from cheaper items like the $40 shirts.
“They went straight for items that are a thousand dollars plus,” he said.
Bereket Abraham, another co-owner, described the whole scene as “unreal,” saying the burglars looked like they knew exactly what they were doing.
“They had cars on corners — looking, watching the traffic to see if any cops roll by,” Abraham said. “They looked like professionals. Experienced. Like they’d done this plenty of times.”
The store was closed on Monday as it dealt with the aftermath of the heist that its owners said left thousands of dollars in losses.