What is likely the same crew of brazen shoplifters who have recently struck twice at Stanford Shopping Center and once in San Francisco's Union Square has struck again, this time in downtown Palo Alto.
A group of seven males in their 20s descended on luxury consigner The RealReal in Palo Alto on Monday, conducting a similar grab-and-run operation as groups of suspects have at the Neiman Marcus and Louis Vuitton stores at Stanford Shopping Center in the last five weeks. As Palo Alto Weekly reports, five suspects pushed past a security guard and tore expensive handbags from the security cables tying them down, and all ran out.
When the guard attempted to chase the suspects out of the store, he was confronted by two other suspects who threatened him not to continue.
One suspect reportedly threatened to pull a gun, as the SF Business Times notes, but never did. Police said the security guard never saw a gun.
Employees said the group stole about 20 handbags with an estimated worth of around $50,000.
A group of 11 suspects hit the Palo Alto Louis Vuitton store in early June, taking 36 bags worth an estimated $100,000 or more. That group escaped in waiting vehicles from the parking lot, and no arrests have been made.
Police said that different vehicles were used as getaway cars in a May 19 heist at the Neiman Marcus store in the same shopping center, with ten suspects involved — five male and five female. In all the incidents, suspects wore face coverings and hoodies.
There was also a brazen theft of handbags at the Saks Fifth Avenue store in San Francisco's Union Square one day earlier, on May 18, in which about $90,000 in merchandise was stolen.
Police are still investigating if these four incidents are linked. They say they will not be releasing surveillance video or images, because the images are not helpful in identifying any suspects.
Anyone with information about Monday's theft is asked to call the Palo Alto Police Department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to [email protected] or sent by text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984.
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