Thieves empty most of Tanger Outlet Center store
A Sunglass Hut supervisor suffered a manager’s worst nightmare last weekend when he went to open the store before his shift and realized most of the merchandise had been stolen.
According to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, nearly $500,000 worth of merchandise was stolen from the store located in the Tanger Outlet Center sometime during the night of Jan. 16. Dispatch received the report the following morning at around 10 a.m.
"It happened in the nighttime hours after the business had closed," said Sgt. Ron Bridge. "An unknown person or persons entered into the back of the Sunglass Hut and removed as much of the merchandise as they possibly could."
The Sheriff’s Office doesn’t know how many items were actually stolen.
"They don’t have that kind of information for us yet and putting a number on that would be difficult for me," Bridge said.
The Park City store, located on the lower level of the Tanger Outlet Center, had indoor video surveillance operating at the time of the theft and detectives were able to collect evidence at the scene. Bridge said an investigation is ongoing.
The Sunglass Hut is a chain retail store with several locations throughout the country offering high-end women’s and men’s sunglasses, including several expensive brands. The website advertises pairs with prices ranging from $100 to at least $500.
Bridge said in nearly 20 years on the job he has "never seen anything like this before." He said no other thefts of this size have been reported at the Tanger Outlets and no other stores were burglarized that night. A representative from Tanger Outlets did not respond to The Park Record’s requests for comment.
Recovering the stolen items will be difficult, Bridge said.
"Sunglasses don’t have serial numbers and they don’t have special insignias," he said. "I’ve come across this in the past where a place that sold skiing equipment had special snowboards that weren’t available to the public that were stolen and that was something unique that we could follow up on. But it’s hard to try and track these when people can put them online or go to swap meets. It is virtually untraceable and it is very difficult without some kind of identifying mark."
The Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help and asking anyone who may have noticed something suspicious in the area the night of Jan. 16 to contact dispatch at 435-615-3500.
"If anyone has any information or saw anything it would be beneficial to the investigation if someone would step forward and help us," Bridge said.
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