FOX 35 EXCLUSIVE: Orlando jewelry store cleaning up $200K in damages from looters
ORLANDO, Fla. - Orlando Jewelers on East Colonial Drive was damaged by looters, Sunday morning, according to the owner.
The owner believes the damage is more than $200,000.
It happened at 5 a.m. on Sunday.
Surveillance cameras caught the moment a van crashed through the front of the store.
Orlando Jewelers on East Colonial Drive in Orlando. (FOX 35 Orlando)
The exterior camera showed three suspects running away. Seconds later, police chased them.
The owner, Luis Arroyo, spoke exclusively to FOX 35 and brought our cameras inside to see the damage.
Shattered glass covered the floor from smashed jewelry cases.
A secondary security gate prevented the would-be looters from getting their hands on the jewelry inside.
“We may lose everything because of this,” Arroyo said.
He says this is like being kicked while down.
The shop just reopened.
“We’re just trying to get our business back together after COVID and go forward and now, now I’m really shut down. Now, can we come back from this? I hope, I wish and I pray,” Arroyo said.
After 17 years, the small business owner is determined to get back open.
“This is for my family. [It's] everything we’ve worked for our whole lives, so I have to,” Arroyo said.
One thing Arroyo can’t do is understand why people hurting would inflict more pain on others.
“It wasn’t necessary. What did this accomplish? A protest? This is not protest,” Arroyo said.
This business owner isn’t alone.
At least a dozen others around Orlando are also dealing with damage and stolen property.
“You’re just messing up peoples' lives now,” Arroyo said. “This is people that don’t understand what George Floyd meant and they’re just taking advantage of the situation.”
Arroyo has a message for protesters.
“If you want to protest, protest peacefully, that’s it. What are you getting from this? All you’re doing is hurting others. Just stop it. Think about it. Think about what you’re actually protesting,” Arroyo said.
The shop has insurance, but it may be quite some time before it can reopen.