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Smash and grab thieves target outlets
Burberry, Zales both hit in August
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North Georgia Premium Outlets has once again become the target for thieves, and this time the suspects got away with more than $20,000 in designer handbags, clothing and accessories.

According to authorities, three suspects are believed to have used a sledgehammer to bust through the front glass at Burberry Outlet in the early morning hours of Aug. 15.

Video surveillance shows three males around the store around 1:30 a.m.

The smash and grab followed the armed robbery of the Zales Outlet in which an undisclosed amount of jewelry was taken just after employees opened for business on Aug. 5.

Employees at Zales told investigators the woman entered the store, brandished a pistol and forced them into the back of the store where she zip-tied their hands.

The white woman is said to have been about 5' 5" and average build. She was reportedly wearing a dark baseball cap, blue button up shirt and khaki pants.

No arrests have been made in either case.

Authorities believe the outlets are considered easy targets for crime because of the mall's proximity to Ga. 400 and its quick access south to the Atlanta area.

Mall management and security are working closely with authorities to share information that may lead to the arrest of the individuals involved in the incidents.

"North Georgia Premium Outlets is committed to providing a safe, quality-shopping environment and takes several proactive security measures, including maintaining security patrol of our property and surrounding parking lots, and provides shoppers and employees with security escorts to their vehicles upon request," the mall management released in a statement.

Anyone with information on the robbery is asked to call the sheriff's office at (706) 344-3535.