August 23, 2013 Orlando Florida (WESH2) – An Orlando gas station in Belle Isle was hit by smash-and-grab crooks overnight and it was caught on camera.
Frustrated business owners in the area told WFTV they’re sick of criminals targeting them.
The ITIG gas station on Orange Avenue was hit and the crooks did a lot of damage.
It was the third time in a year WFTV has covered an expensive and destructive crime at the gas station.
The group of burglars made off with cash and caused thousands in damage.
“I say, ‘Oh my God, again?’ We’ve not yet paid off the damage from the last time and now it happened again,” said victim Joe Sarkis.
Sarkis said the men got away with thousands of dollars after they brought a sledgehammer in to smash open the safe after taking a crowbar to two doors to get into the office.
They stole cigarettes and some other items, and it only took minutes to do the damage, get the goods and get away in a white pickup truck.
“I talk with you and my heart cries. You work hard, 80 hours a week, and something happens, and again happens and again happens,” said Sarkis.
Sarkis is referring to two other crimes. Late last year, someone drove into the front of the building during a burglary.
Three months ago, a van siphoned hundreds of gallons of gas into a huge tank through the floorboard of a vehicle.
Owners said they can’t take much more. All efforts, even posts put up to thwart a smash-and-grab, have failed.
“We make money to survive, we don’t make money to be rich,” Sarkis said.