A drone store in England was targeted in a “soul-destroying” $190,000 burglary over the holiday break. The thieves made off with 18 high-tech DJI Mavic 3 drones, DJI Mini drones, two cameras, DJI goggles, and accessories.
Drone store targeted in a soul-destroying $190,000 theft of DJI drones
In 2018, the drone shop owner, Mark Boyt took on an $82,000 investment from Dragons’ Den investor Peter Jones to start his business during a 2018 appearance on the popular BBC show.
On December 28th, two Nike-wearing thieves reportedly made off with the drones during a three-minute smash-and-grab on December 28.
According to Boyt, who is the owner of the Drone Safe Store many customers’ Boxing Day orders were stolen in the raid.
“It was all very targeted,” he said. “We have worked so hard to build our business and sadly we’ve had to disappoint customers whose Boxing Day orders have been stolen. We’ve worked night and day to build the UK’s fastest-growing and highest-rated drone store and to see that hard work tarnished in a matter of minutes is soul-destroying.”
Despite theft drone store remains open
Despite many of his products being stolen, Boyt decided to keep the store open to help his customers as best as he can.
“We’re proud to say that despite this setback, the Drone Safe Store is still open for business and we look forward to serving you and doing what we do best.
I want to personally thank Drone Safe Register members during this troubling time for all the help and support they have offered to help track down these missing drones.
We are working with the manufacturer to publish all of the product’s serial numbers and are urging the public to remain vigilant for any cheap DJI drones being offered.
We will be offering a substantial reward for any information that leads to the identification of and arrest of the two thieves spotted in the CCTV footage.
He added: “It’s pretty pointless for the thieves, the drones are unsellable, it’s a complete waste of time for them.
Every single drone operator knows these drones. We’re extremely hopeful they’ll be caught.”
The store’s alarm was set off right after midnight on December 28. CCTV surveillance footage shows two masked thieves entering the building.
The smash-and-grab lasted only three minutes and police arrived within six minutes. The police officers even sent a drone into the air to possibly spot the burglars, but the men had already fled the scene.
Among the stolen products were DJI’s new Mavic 3 Cine Premium Combo, worth $5,000, as well as DJI Mavic 3 Fly More Kits, individual Mavic 3s, and DJI Mini 2s. The total value is estimated to be over $190,000 USD.
Tom Boyt, the manager of the store and the son of the owner, said: “It’s soul-destroying to see what has happened. Doing this to a family-run business at Christmas time is despicable. We’ve tried so hard in the past 18 months to educate the general public on the benefits of drones and the legalities of drone flying. So despite this setback, we will continue to be open for business. Stolen goods are often sold via Facebook Marketplace, we’re urging everyone to stay vigilant.”
The police are trying to identify and locate the thieves with the help of CCTV footage.
“This was a significant burglary that has had a devastating impact on the victims,” Detective Inspector Pauline Lane, of Sussex Police’s Coastal CID said. “A full investigation is ongoing and we would ask anybody who recognizes the people in this picture, saw anything suspicious in the area around the time of the offense, or has relevant dash-cam footage to contact police.”
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