Mob burglary targets Lakeland clothing store

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – Plastic bags in hand, eight to 10 thieves gathered on the sidewalk, some peering into “Urban Appeal” in downtown Lakeland, eyeing their prize.

On security camera video, you can see someone pick up a chair and smash a glass panel out of the front door.

Soon, there is a free-for-all as the hoard rushes in.

“They had a plan and they went in there and dissected the store. They knew exactly what they were after,” said Sgt. Gary Gross with the Lakeland Police Department.

Security cameras caught the mass burglary from several angles.

Some go for tables near the door, stuffing clothes into bags.

Others make their way to the expensive “Robin” brand jeans near the register.

The jeans sell for $500 to $700 each.

People enjoying their Friday night in downtown Lakeland found it hard to fathom this happened right here.

“Never heard of anything like that ever. Not even in West Palm Beach,” said Tom Target.

Store employees didn’t want to say anything that could jeopardize Lakeland Police rounding up the crooks.

The estimated take is more than $50,000.

The video shows a few faces, which should help police identify the burglars. Investigators think they may be from Tampa or Orlando.

The thieves drove off in three waiting cars, leaving some of the jeans strewn on the sidewalk.


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