Thieves steal roughly $63,000 in Prada, Gucci eyewear from Glendale optometrist

Less than 12 hours after thieves stole roughly $63,000 worth of expensive sunglasses and eyewear on Thursday from her family business, optometrist Ani Halabi was back to work and meeting with patients.

"Nothing is going to bring me down," she said, adding that the burglary hasn't stopped her from continuing to do what she loves to do — serving her community.

Halabi, who is nine months pregnant, has been talking to vendors, seeing patients well past closing time and working into the early morning to restore her business, Glendale Family Optometry.

Police said that at about 2:30 a.m. thieves shattered the glass door and entered the business in the 400 block of East Glenoaks Boulevard, where they broke into several display cases.

Thieves stole more than 100 of pairs of Ray Ban sunglasses and dozens of pairs of Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Gucci and Polo prescription eyewear, police said.

Not only did thieves steal roughly 65% of Halabi's inventory, they also caused extensive damage to her display cases, which were custom-made.

Last November, thieves also stole $40,000 worth of expensive sunglasses from Blue Eyes Optometry in the 100 block of West Wilson Avenue. In that theft, the intruders used a sledgehammer to smash glass displays and steal Chrome Hearts sunglasses, which can cost up to $2,000 each.

No one has been arrested in connection with either burglary, but police are investigating whether the incidents are related, Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

Halabi opened her business three years ago and relocated to the Glenoaks address about 18 months ago.

She not only sees patients at her private practice, but also helps low-income children in need of vision care.

She serves patients at free vision clinics organized by Glendale Healthy Kids and the American Medical Society of California, and has been recognized by Northwest Glendale Lions Club for her community service.

While the burglary was a setback, she said it doesn't really matter because her family is safe and healthy.


Follow Veronica Rocha on Google+ and on Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA.


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