SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - San Francisco Police have released surveillance video of a band of thieves breaking into a high-end camera store along Fisherman's Wharf early this morning.
The robbers were able to access the store using their van, in what police are calling a "crash and grab."
In the video, four suspects can be seen backing a white van onto the sidewalk in front of the Electronic City camera store on the corner of Leavenworth and Jefferson shortly before three o'clock this morning. They appear to attach a pole to the vehicle, using it as a battering ram to bust into the shop.
"It's an unconventional way of doing smash and grabs," said Officer Carlos Manfredi. "On the footage you see three suspects with three large bags enter inside and grab as many items as they possibly can and in under four minutes they are able to successfully take as many items as they could, jump back into the van and take off before police showed up."
This afternoon, the manager of the store, Luis Lopez, was still cleaning up. He swept shards of glass, and picked up broken cameras and lens that lay shattered on the floor. Empty camera boxes were strewn about the store.
"They break usually this door," Lopez pointed to where thieves broke in last time. The owner had the door reinforced, but this time, the robber struck a thick window. Lopez said this was the fourth time in just six months that robbers have broken into the store. This time they made off with tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of goods.
"This time we [are tired] and [we're] just thinking to move on...trying to let it go and move on for a new business. It's [a] very slow season and it's very high the rents over here."
Lopez said his partner will be forced to close. Because of previous break-ins, he worries that insurance won't cover the fallout from this latest heist.
Police are gathering more surveillance along the wharf, getting a license plate on the van and a better look at the suspects. Ofcr. Manfredi said, "If anyone has any information about any items being sold on the street or at a flea market that are high end camera equipment, please contact us."