Police are looking for two women who were caught on camera stealing thousands of dollars worth of designer frames from an eyeglass store at the St. Johns Town Center Tuesday.
The owners of Vision Express said it happened during business hours, while multiple people were in the store. When one owner noticed several frames were missing on the wall, he checked the security camera footage and saw everything on tape.
A quest to find the perfect set of frames may be a daunting task and one glance at some of these price tags might have customers thinking twice. But police say neither of those were problems for the suspects.
Employees said it was clear what vision these two had in mind.
“I had spoken with them a couple of times and they glanced my way and said everything was great and it just seemed like a routine day," said Aubrey Hatcher, optical sales rep and lab manager.
But as Hatcher was focusing on other customers, he was blinded by what was going on a few feet away.
“As soon as she comes to the board, the first frame she pulls off, she immediately rips off the tag and throws it in the trash can right over here beside our board," Hatcher said.
High-definition security footage captured the struggle at the front of the store to take off more stickers from designer glasses.
“As soon as the other one came back to the store front, they both stood up and walked out the door," Hatcher said.
Hatcher said the local owners of Vision Express have been building the business for eight years and with three locations, it’s tough to keep their eyes on every move.
“It’s very upsetting to them. And then you have to play a game of do we lock everything up and make it inaccessible to people or do we leave it open so people can try it on and come here and have a great experience," Hatcher said.
Within minutes, Hatcher said almost $3,000 worth of merchandise was taken from the store and the lesson is to always keep a close watch.
“We have to be beside our patients and our customers a little bit more, be more interactive," he said.
Anyone with information is asked to call police.
After the story ran on Channel 4 at 5 p.m. Wednesday,, News4Jax received the following note from Vision Express:
Thank you so much for everything. Apparently, the mother of one of the two suspects has already contacted our offices and is trying to return the frames to us as soon as possible. This couldn't have happened if it wasn't for you taking the time to come out here. For us being a small practice, this amazing for us. Thank you and Channel 4 News. You guys are so amazing.