Caught on Video: Sledgehammer Smash and Grab

By Beverly White and Samantha Tata
|  Wednesday, Nov 21, 2012  |  Updated 11:54 PM PDT
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Gary Vartanyan says he lost $40,000 in uninsured, high-end sunglasses after a thief used a sledgehammer to carve his way through the bulletproof glass at the Glendale shop. Beverly White reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Nov. 21, 2012.

Gary Vartanyan says he lost $40,000 in uninsured, high-end sunglasses after a thief used a sledgehammer to carve his way through the bulletproof glass at the Glendale shop. Beverly White reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Nov. 21, 2012.

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Caught on Video: Sledgehammer Smash and Grab

Surveillance footage captured a man using sledgehammer to break through a glass door and steal some $40,000 worth of high-end sunglasses from Blue Eyes Optometry on Wilson Avenue in Glendale. Raw video recorded Friday Nov. 16, 2012.
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Surveillance video captured a man using a sledgehammer to carve his way through the bulletproof glass door of a Glendale optimist last week and steal $40,000 worth of high-end sunglasses.

"Damn. We have no insurance. That’s the first thing that came to my mind,” owner Gary Vartanyan told NBC4 News Wednesday. “Nothing I'm going to be able to do. I'm taking a loss on this one."

When the first tools failed to break through the glass at Blue Eyes Optometry, located in the 100 block of West Wilson Avenue, video shows the thief went to work with a sledgehammer. Twenty blows later, he breaks through and enters the shop.

Watch: Raw Surveillance Footage

Vartanyan said multiple defenses are apparently not enough.

"We got like 8 security cameras, bullet proof windows, sensors everywhere. It doesn't bother them,” he said. “So, I guess maybe put in a pit bull or Rottweiler inside the store."

The thief loaded dozens of ChromeHearts sunglasses into the bag that once held the sledgehammer. That inventory, Vartanyan fears, is destined for the black market.

"This pair? The retail on this is like $2,000 for one pair of glasses. Imagine fifty times that,” he said. "It's like taking the food from my child's mouth. That's what it is."

Glendale police are investigating. And Vartanyan said he’s hopeful, because the thief left the sledgehammer – with possible DNA evidence – on the sidewalk outside of the store.

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