ALEXANDRIA, VA (WUSA9) - Shoplifting is bad enough. Using a young boy to help you steal is even worse.
A small businesswoman in Alexandria says a group of three adults and a boy hit her eyeglass shop and walked out with thousands of dollars in frames.
"We didn't really take a second glance when this so-called family came in," said Dr. Dora Adamopoulos of Eye 2 Eye Optometry Corner.
Eye 2 Eye is a family-oriented shop in Alexandria's Del Ray neighborhood, so staffers didn't notice anything strange about the group that walked in at 4:30 on Friday -- not until the next day when they took inventory and found $4,500 in designer frames were missing.
When they went back over their surveillance video, they saw the man trying on the most expensive frames and stuffing them in his pocket. One after the other, after the other.
"As a team, we feel violated, we feel frustrated it wasn't caught. We feel these people took advantage of us and the trust we had in them," said Adamopoulos.
Even before the man grabbed at least eight eyeglass frames, he pretended to be making an appointment for the boy. The boy stuck an expensive frame on his own face and walked out without paying.
"It shocks me as a parent, as part of our community. Our staff was shock. And the fact that the young boy was blatant," said Adamopoulos.
The optometrist says eyeglass frame theft is a thing, that people can resell them for a lot of cash on eBay or to other stores. She suspects this group had walked out without paying before, but she's hoping this video will help stop them from ever doing it again.
Alexandria Police say they are investigating, but they say they're only in the early stages. Dr. Adamopoulis is hoping that by releasing the video, she'll push detectives to work the case harder. She's hoping to save other small businesses from falling victim.
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