Connecticut State Police are trying to track down a bold set of shoplifters who stole $1,600 in items from a grocery store as angry bystanders looked on, video shows.
The footage — shared thousands of times on Facebook — shows four masked suspects in dark clothing loading shopping carts packed with items like laundry detergent into two waiting cars outside Market 32 in Oxford early Tuesday.
“Look at all that,” one witness says in the clip as the thieves shamelessly stock up without paying. “That’s why prices go up, because of these a–holes … can’t get a job like the rest of us.”
But the unabashed thieves kept piling the stolen goods into an SUV and minivan before speeding out of the parking lot, knocking over a shopping cart in the process, the clip shows.
“Better run, bro,” one witness told one suspect as he ran to the vehicle seconds earlier. State police said they made off with about $1,600 in items, primarily detergent and paper towels, WTIC reported.
But no one at the store called 911 as the larceny occurred, Connecticut State Police said in a statement Wednesday. Workers at the store had spotted the thieves filling up multiple shopping carts moments earlier.
“This office understands the optics of the video,” the agency said. “We would like to remind everyone that when they observe a crime in progress, contact 911 immediately.”
The Oxford Resident Trooper’s Office wasn’t alerted until 10 minutes after the heist — via a routine call through its phone line, state police said.
“Had 911 been contacted in a timely manner, police personnel would have been able to attempt to intercept those involved,” investigators said. “We would like to remind everyone to stay vigilant and not to engage with people like this when a crime is occurring.”
Cops believe the two vehicles used as getaway rides were stolen. At least two of the suspects have been identified, but their identities have not been released due to an ongoing investigation, WTIC reported.
Sgt. John Acampora told the station the thieves will most likely try to sell the stolen goods on social media, as well as in their communities.
George R. Temple, Oxford’s first selectman, advised residents to call 911 when they see a crime in progress.
“They were organized, they knew what they were doing, they had no plates on the car,” Temple told WTIC. “We’re going to redouble our efforts here, but I don’t know what more we could have done without knowing.”
Anyone with information about the incident should contact Connecticut State Police at (203) 888-4353.