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Police release new surveillance video and 911 calls of brazen store robberies

The alleged thieves were captured rolling big screen TVs out of the store before racing away.

SOUTHINGTON, Conn. — There are new developments in a rash of robberies sweeping the state as Southington is the latest community by thieves who are still on the loose.

New surveillance footage and 911 calls from inside the BJ’s Wholesale Club store while it was getting robbed were released by police Wednesday.

CALLER: "Hello, I am calling from BJ’s Wholesale Club. I am currently being robbed."

RELATED: Police close in on shoplifting suspects caught on cameras across Connecticut

The new surveillance video is from the Southington BJ’s on Nov. 7. The alleged thieves were captured rolling big screen TVs out of the store before racing away.

CALLER: "I was worried I would get hit by the car."

DISPATCHER: "Do you say that they pushed you?"

CALLER: "They pushed a flatbed at me and threatened me when I got close to them."

Police said they are believed to be the same thieves who were also seen in more new surveillance video stealing detergent from the Southington Stop & Shop.

"It seems like these incidents are more and more frequently," said Jack McCarthy of Bristol.

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Shoppers said these incidents make them look twice over their shoulder.

"Oh yeah. I was in a Target store maybe six months ago and someone across the aisle from me had a bunch of stuff in his arm and I was like that’s odd,” Nicole Smith of Southington said. “He tried breaking out a side entrance and when the alarm went off he dropped everything but one box and ran out the front door."

The alleged thieves are dubbed by law enforcement as the “TV and Tide crew”. They also allegedly stole TVs from the Wallingford BJs and detergent from Market 32 in Oxford.

State police believe they’ve identified two of the suspects. But they are all still on the loose.

“We’ve seen quite a few incidents recently," said CT State Police Trooper First Class Pedro Muniz. "Keep an eye out. If you see something, say something."

And while believed to be unconnected, FOX61 also obtained the 911 tapes of shoplifting from the Southington Shop Rite when a lady allegedly tried to escape with groceries after threatening store staff with a hypodermic needle.

CALLER: "She said we are going to get stuck with a needle.”

DISPATCHER: "Oh so she’s threatening now?"

CALLER: "She’s running through the parking lot. We have her purse."

RELATED: CT residents share concerns about break-ins and thefts

Ahead of Black Friday and the holiday shopping season the state police say they are prepared to see more incidents like this. They want to remind residents not to intervene but rather call 911 or get a video if they can do that safely.

FOX61 reached out to BJ’s Wholesale Club for a comment on their loss prevention efforts, but they would only say that they decline to comment on any ongoing investigations.

Matt Caron is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at mcaron@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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