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Exclusive: Cameras Capture Thieves Stealing $200k In Medical Equipment

SOUTH MIAMI (CBS4) - South Miami Police are appealing for the public's help to find two men who stole $200,000 worth of medical equipment from a victim's truck. Police hope that new surveillance tape they are releasing will lead to the capture of the criminals.

Acting Police Chief Rene Landa told CBS4's Peter D'Oench that this new tape also illustrates a crime trend and problem with predators cruising up and down South Dixie Highway looking for victims.

"A lot of these guys hit the corridor on U.S. One," said Landa in an exclusive interview with D'Oench. "They go all the way down south to Homestead, through Pinecrest, Coral Gables and South Miami."

The surveillance tape showed one image that is critical to the case.

It showed a black Ford Flex driving through the parking lot of a Chipotle restaurant at 6290 South Dixie Highway at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 11th. The vehicle comes to a stop and two suspects get out. The surveillance tape reveals their faces.

"It's possibly a 2009 Ford Flex," said Landa. "It looks to me like they were watching another car at the time. There was something around another vehicle and they went up to this red truck which had medical supplies inside. They broke up the back window. Once they pulled up to the truck, they broke out the windows and took the items, the medical equipment."

One of the suspects is seen jumping in the victim's truck.

Landa said the criminals took $200,000 worth of St. Jude medical equipment including implantable cardioverter defibrillators that monitor and treat irregular heartbeats. The small devices are worth $15,000 each, Landa said. He said the thieves also took some programming and pacemaker devices.

"The establishment had great video equipment," said Landa of the Chipotle restaurant. "You can pick up the make of the car and that's important to us. If anyone sees these people trying to sell medical equipment or recognizes what they look like, they should call the police."

D'Oench also spoke with the victim whose red truck was broken into. He said he did not want to speak about what happened to him on camera; but he said the thieves not only broke one of his truck windows, but they also stole some of his personal items including an iPad.

Landa expressed concerns about criminals watching and preying on people who travel on South Dixie Highway.

"Sometimes they see people going to the Dadeland Mall shopping and follow them," said Landa. "They watch a woman with a purse and bags in her hands. She comes to her car and puts those bags in the back seat. Then in some cases they follow people when they go to lunch or make a purchase and then they break into their cars."

The manager of the Chipotles restaurant told D'Oench that he was not allowed to speak about the incident.

If you can help South Miami Police with this case, call them or Miami-Dade Crimestoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).

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