Flagler deputies search for suspects in 'smash and grab' burglaries

By Brittany Jones, Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, November 20, 2017, 8:18 PM EST

The search is on for several suspects who Flagler deputies said broke into three stores over the weekend.

  • Suspects allegedly burglarized 3 stores in "smash and grab" style
  • Deputies say there are as many as 7 suspects
  • Allegedly stole cash registers, electronics, smoke products

The sheriff said it has happened in "smash and grab style," and that the suspects are out of the places in minutes.

Their goal is to get thieves off the streets, said the sheriff.

"Definitely frustrating, it’s horrible," said Christian Arnett.

Arnett said his family’s “Z-Best" furniture store has been broken into three times in nearly ten years.

"This giant window, they threw like a cement paver through it," said Arnett, Z-Best manager.

He said he believes the crooks scoped out their store.

"They didn’t ask about anything, they just asked to use the bathroom … We gave them candy and stuff, he was looking at the place. His course of direction was just a little strange,” Arnett said. “We probably had six laptops on top of here Nintendo switches PS4, Xbox One.”

He said several display cases were smashed and damaged, while at least $3,000 worth of merchandise was stolen, and thousands more will be needed for repairs.

The Z-best store wasn't the only store burglarized. Surveillance video shows suspects break the glass and crawl into to the Savages Smoke shop. The also broke into the Hair Cuttery salon. Deputies said they didn't take anything from the salon but ransacked the store.

The suspects stole cash registers, smoke products, champagne, game systems and laptops. Flagler county deputies said early Saturday morning that as many as seven suspects hit all three stores.

Deputies said after the suspects broke into the smoke shop, they left a backpack full of the stolen items and a cell phone in the parking lot.

"They would go in grab whatever they could and quickly exit," said Flagler Sheriff Rick Staly.

Sheriff Staly said officials believe it's a group that law enforcement refers to as Felony Lane, suspects who come from off of I-95 and find opportunities for crime.

The sheriff said they don’t believe the suspects are from around the area, but that type of evidence may be used to track them down.

"This is not unique to us. I don’t like it occurring in my county, but we’re going to do everything we can to catch them and put them in the green roof inn," Sheriff Staly said.

Luckily the businesses cameras were rolling. Arnett hopes that it helps.

"Anything from here that will help catch them that would be awesome. Everybody that got broken into around here they want them caught,” he said.

Arnett said the items stolen were big ticket items for Christmas presents that they'll have to replace in their store.

Deputies said they also found gloves near the scene, and that the suspects were driving a white crossover SUV, likely a newer Nissan Murano.

The Flagler County Sheriff's Office said to call them if you have any information on these cases.