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South Beach Tunnel Crooks

For the past 28 years, Harold Rengifo has sold natural foods, vitamins, fresh juices, and herbal teas on Miami Beach. Throughout this time Rengifo's Natural Life Center has operated from various retail locations, most recently at 405 15th Street, a storefront located between Drexel and Washington avenues. Never had a problem. Not even a shoplifter. That is until yesterday when he showed up to open his vitamin store at 12:30 p.m.

In the wee morning hours, unknown bandits broke into the empty space next door to the Natural Life Center and busted a large hole in the wall to get inside Rengifo's spot. The burglars made off with about $10,000 in merchandise, Rengifo says. They even emptied out the Vitamin Water cooler. "This is the first time this happens to us," he adds. "I've never had to worry about crime on Miami Beach."

The brazen criminals also hit Lucky Tattoo shop two doors down from the Natural Life Center. They got in the same way -- by carving out a huge hole in the wall. Shop owner Henry "Lucky" Zambrano says he had never been burglarized before either. "They took a brand new computer," he says. "I hope it doesn't happen again." Miami Beach Police are investigating the caper, but so far no suspects.

Check out video interviews with Rengifo and Zambrano after the jump.


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Francisco Alvarado was born in Nicaragua and grew up in Miami, giving him unique insight into the Magic City and all its dark corners. An investigative reporter with a knack for uncovering corruption, Alvarado made his bones as a staff writer at Miami New Times and remains in dogged pursuit of the next juicy story.