Surveillance video shows box-wearing bandit allegedly burglarizing Florida grocery store

(MIAMI GARDENS, Fla.) — A Florida man donned a unique disguise to burglarize a Miami Gardens supermarket.

Claude Vincent Griffin Jr., 33, was caught on surveillance cameras haphazardly wearing a cardboard box as a mask when breaking into a glass display containing iPhones. Police allege that Griffin stole over $30,000 worth of merchandise, according to an arrest affidavit.

Authorities charged Griffin, who they say is homeless, with 11 criminal counts, including burglary, grand theft, criminal mischief, cocaine possession, and resisting arrest.

The manager of Miami Gardens’ Price Choice Supermarket said he learned that his store was burglarized early Saturday morning three separate times by the same intruder, according to the affidavit. A review of the store’s surveillance system quickly revealed many of the details of the incident.

Police allege that Griffin entered the supermarket unmasked through a rear door typically used to access product storage. The store’s security alarm, which was functional at the time of the incidents, according to police, did not go off at any time over the three incidents.

During his first visit, he stole multiple scratch-off tickets and cigarettes before exiting, according to the affidavit.

An hour later, Griffin returned to the supermarket “wearing a box to conceal his face” before approaching kiosks that contained phones and jewelry, noted the complaint.

Captured on surveillance camera, the box-wearing bandit used a blunt object to break into a glass display case. Wearing a pair of allegedly stolen gloves to avoid the shards of glass in the display case, Griffin can be seen putting multiple iPhones into his backpack, one of which police allege he was carrying at the time of his arrest.

However, Griffin apparently did not cut eye holes into his mask, complicating the theft and ultimately contributing to his demise.

“As [Griffin] was breaking into the glass, the box covering his facial features fell to the ground allowing surveillance video to capture an image of [his] face,” according to the complaint. Police later used that identification to arrest Griffin.

“I had a laugh on my face [when I saw the video],” kiosk owner Jeremias Berganza told ABC affiliate WPLG.

Before leaving the store on the second robbery, Griffin similarly broke into another glass display case to steal multiple watches.

Police allege that Griffin returned to the store a third time, prying open a cash box, stealing more iPhones and nabbing some phone chargers on his way out of the store.

Police estimate the total value of the stolen merchandise as over $30,000, along with over two thousand dollars worth of vandalism damage.

Roughly eight hours after police responded to the incident, Griffin was spotted at the same plaza as the grocery store, according to authorities.

“Ten hours later, after the break-in, they called me from the barber shop saying he was in front of the liquor store,” Berganza said.

Police arrested Griffin, who later confessed to the theft. He is being held on bond at a local correctional center.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

SHARE NOW