Second burglary Bonn opticians Thieves steal high-end glasses worth around 80,000 euros

Bonn · Burglars stole glasses worth an estimated 80,000 euros from the Zeiss Vision Centre on the Belderberg in Bonn over the weekend, leaving a mess in their wake. How is the business reacting to the second burglary in a row?

 Employee Paula Rasten looks at the empty shelves on the first floor.

Employee Paula Rasten looks at the empty shelves on the first floor.

Foto: Benjamin Westhoff

Paula Rasten was shocked when she looked around the first floor of the Zeiss Vision Centre: "The shelves were all empty, expensive frames were lying on the floor and the whole shop was a shambles," the trained optician said. The police reported on Monday that between 2pm on Saturday and 8am on Monday morning, unknown perpetrators forced open a door and gained access to the shop on the Belderberg. They stole at least 80,000 euros worth of spectacle frames. According to store manager David Rößler, the thieves were particularly interested in luxury brands. Police are now investigating.

Last year there were a number of break-ins at opticians in Bonn, and one of them was at the Zeiss Vision Centre. In July, thieves almost completely emptied the shop, leaving only a single pair of frames behind. According to police spokesman Robert Scholten, there had been no such break-ins this year. It is impossible to say at this stage whether this crime will be followed by others. Investigators are currently working on the assumption that there is a "certain degree of organisation" behind the known cases. "Eyeglasses - especially a large number of the latest (branded) frames - are obviously worthwhile loot," says Scholten.

Rößler can only confirm this. Zeiss frames cost up to a thousand euros. "The thieves specifically stole frames from luxury brands such as Gucci or Cartier," says the operations manager. This is annoying and frustrating, especially as it is the second time the shop has been broken into. "We don't think it was the same people. It was far too chaotic here, as if the thieves were under pressure or were disturbed," he says.

Alarm system to be installed

An alarm system is now to be installed, and Rößler is already waiting for it. "But the perpetrators switched off the electricity. What's the point of such a system?" he asks. Will he now keep particularly expensive glasses under lock and key? Rößler shakes his head. "We have to display the glasses, present them and show them to customers. It's difficult to integrate special glasses from a safe into everyday life," he says. Nevertheless, it’s a fine balancing act to decide what to display and what to show customers later. According to the Central Association of Opticians and Optometrists (ZVA), burglaries in opticians' shops are not unusual. "Eyeglass frames or sunglasses from high-priced brands are popular stolen goods, as are other high-quality products or technical devices," says a spokeswoman.

Rößler is not too worried about another break-in. "Although it can happen at any time," he says. He explains why more glasses have been stolen in recent years: "Glasses are light and small. You can fill a big bag with them and immediately have goods worth 15,000 euros". Unlike jewellery, eyewear is also not secured particularly well, which makes it easier for thieves. He and his colleague can imagine the glasses being taken abroad. "We don't have any reliable information about trade abroad," says police spokesman Robert Scholten.

Original text: Maike Velden

Translation: Jean Lennox

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