Auto part thief flashes pistol after being caught in the act by employees

Brazen, armed thief may have tried same thing before

Police are searching for a man who robbed a car parts store in Fort Lauderdale. 

The owners of that store say the man came back again, but was armed. 

Surveillance video shows a man in a gray jogging suit appearing to be just another customer, perusing the aisles of the shop.

That's until he sneaks behind a store counter and fumbles with some boxes on the ground. 

"You can see him taking the merchandise, going behind the counter, standing on a few boxes to grab the product, stuffing it in his pants and in his shirt," said store employee Mike Stavrinos.

After the man grabs several boxes off a display wall, he walks back out to the open area and video catches him stuffing those items inside his clothes. 

"They're ignition boxes for old muscle cars and performance cars," Stavrinos said. "They're worth about $300 but he had about five or six of them last time, and he had a starter for a motor."

It's not long before employees catch on and confront the man. 

"He started pulling out the products, multiple items out of his shirt because he knew at that point he had gotten caught," Stavrinos said. 

Store managers were on high alert because of a similar incident a few weeks ago at the same store. 
Items disappeared off store shelves and only after they examined the video did they find what appeared to be the same man, that time making a clean getaway.


Fast forward to the latest incident, and the man took things a step further after employees confronted him and demanded to do a pat down. 

"At that point he threatened us and said we do not pat him down," Stavrinos said. "(He) pulled his shirt, showed us a pistol and proceeded to the exit."

Outside cameras captured the man's getaway car, which was a white sedan with a woman in the passenger seat the entire time. 

Store managers told Local 10 News they believe the man stole around $4,000 worth of products. 

Anyone with information is urged to contact Fort Lauderdale police or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477). 

About the Author: