WJTV News Channel 12 - Manatee Co. Business robbed of $100,000 in less than 4 minutes

Manatee Co. Business robbed of $100,000 in less than 4 minutes

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MANATEE COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Manatee County deputies say someone stole around $100,000 worth of camera equipment in less than 4 minutes.

Johnson PhotoImaging in Manatee County was burglarized on Sunday morning, and now some of the shelves sit empty.

Johnson PhotoImaging is in an unmistakable art deco building off State Road 70. It's not everyday you see buildings painted green and pink, and this is not your everyday camera store.

"We tend to specialize in the higher end stuff," said owner LeMoyne Johnson.

Johnson caters to customers throughout South Florida, selling camera equipment and making portraits.

Last week he was honored by the local newspaper as Manatee County's small business of the year.

He said, "We happened to win last Thursday which was kinda neat."

On Sunday at 9 am, the burglar alarm went off.

Johnson said, "They broke in through the side window and then they reached in and unlocked the door and let themselves in."

In less than 4 minutes, the burglars stole around $100,000 with of merchandise.  There was no surveillance system to catch them.

Johnson says the burglars swiped cameras and lenses from cabinets and drawers.  He suspects that they've probably been here before, and they knew what they were looking for.

"They took the most expensive stuff in the store," Johnson said.

He said the burglars purposely avoided the used cameras and lenses.

And while it's unnerving, he's taking it in stride.

Johnson said, "It's just one of those things that happens occasionally and hopefully doesn't happen too often and you just gotta go on.

He has turned over the serial numbers to the sheriff's office and the case is being investigated.

He will install a new surveillance system on Tuesday.

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