A gang of grab-and-run thieves descended on the Louis Vuitton store at Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto this week and stole an estimated $100,000+ in pricey handbags.
In the second such incident at the mall in less the a month, a group of 11 suspects came to the store on Monday afternoon and stole 36 Louis Vuitton bags, each of which can cost thousands of dollars. The suspects then fled in five waiting vehicles, and while they were seen on camera leaving the scene, they were all wearing facial coverings and hoodies — much like a gaggle of thieves who hit the Neiman Marcus store at Stanford Shopping Center on May 19.
As SFist noted then, Palo Alto police were coordinating with San Francisco police because of similarities between that heist and one that occurred days earlier at the Saks Fifth Avenue in Union Square.
But, as Palo Alto Online reports, police are not jumping to conclusions about this being the same group that stole the bags from Neiman Marcus, because the getaway cars were not the same this time.
Reportedly, the 11 suspects escaped in a Lexus sedan, a gray Infinity SUV, a white Audi sedan, a black four-door Hyundai sedan, and a red two-door Honda sedan. They're described as Black males and females in the teens or 20s. The above photos of one suspect were taken by a witness.
If this is the same crew from the previous two heists, they sound very determined. The May 19 incident began with a false report of shots fired at the Neiman Marcus — it's believed that customers or employees at the store mistook the sound of glass breaking from handbag display cases for gun shots, and the thieves were physically ripping security cables out of the cases.
The estimated retail value of the haul from the three heists totals around $350,000, but it would seem like these thieves would want to be careful about where they're marketing these hot handbags for resale. The cops are likely watching.
Anyone with information about these crimes should contact Palo Alto Police at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to [email protected] or sent by text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984.