DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - In June, a pair of would-be burglars whacked away with a hammer at the window on the front door of the Daytona Spy Shop; 56 blows and they ultimately failed to get inside. Now, it appears they returned to try again, but with a blow torch.
Last Wednesday, at about 5 a.m., a red car was caught on surveillance video pulling up to the Daytona Spy Shop. A masked person can be seen pulling a large hose out of the back seat and igniting a professional welding torch on the end, but it's clear they're not there to do some welding.
For the next two minutes, the masked suspect torches the lock on the store's front door – the same door that was too strong to break through in June. The guy stops and starts yanking at the door as the curtains inside start to catch fire.
Again though, the crooks masked suspect and 2 others in the car are forced to retreat as smoke starts billowing out of the building.
Daytona Beach police officers arrived a short time later with fire investigators who determined quickly that foul play was apparent.
Meanwhile, Spy Shop owner Rick Raymond was thousands of miles away on vacation in Quebec, and watching the smoke fill his building on his phone via the numerous security cameras inside.
"Ya know, it feels like you're getting punched in the stomach when you find out somebody's trying to break into your business, your home, whatever your car," said Raymond.
Raymond arrived back in the US this week to find the door of his business burned, but ultimately still solid and the smoke damage inside minimal. However, the private eye and former cop doesn't think the two break-in attempts in two months are a coincidence.
After the first one, he told the News Station he believed the suspects had visited the store in the days leading up to the attempt. This time, after reviewing the video repeatedly, he believes at least one of the people in the new attempt was the guy whacking away with the hammer in that June attempt.
Daytona Police also noted the clear similarities in the suspects in their Police Report of the incident. Also, as Raymond said, why bring that fire power to try this time if they hadn't already failed once?
"Look, you tried and you muffed it. Knock it off! Please, leave us alone," said Raymond.
Raymond is unsure why his shop is again being targeted. While he does also run his private investigation firm out of the building, he said there's really nothing inside that would be worth the crime. They sell mostly spy cameras and self-defense equipment, but no guns or anything of major resale value; all of it definitely trackable if it was taken.
He said a silver-lining though: this attempt again shows the strength of his security products.
With multiple cameras covering the store at all times, he got several clear images of the masked suspects, their car, and their license plate number to provide to police. The work he's done to thief-proof the door is also clearly paying off.
"We also sell do it yourself security items. Well, they work! So, come see us!" Raymond joked Wednesday.
Raymond is understandably not excited to pay the bill to replace another door and again beef up his security. He's working with police to try to get to the bottom of all of this.