Robbers hit a high-end store in Palm Beach, Florida, in a smash-and-grab heist and made off with more than a dozen Hermes handbags valued at nearly $1 million, according to a new report.
“Thirteen one-of-a-kind Hermes handbags valued at a total of nearly $1 million were stolen from Only Authentics boutique on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach during a grab-and-smash incident,” according to the Palm Beach Daily News.
Several of the bags were worth more than $100,000, the report said. The handbags were on display behind the front-facing windows on a street that is lined with posh shops. From the Daily News:
Eight Birkins and five Kellys were stolen, with the most expensive being a 40-centimeter green crocodile skin Kelly listed at $89,000 and a 32-centimeter Vert Bosphore Birkin listed at $110,000, according to a store employee. Most Birkins on the store’s website range in price from about $17,000 to about $90,000, with a couple priced at $480,000. The Kellys start at about $5,000 for a wallet and go up to the mid $40,000.
Smash-and-grab robberies have exploded across the country, especially in California.
Last month, a group of thieves hit a Nordstrom store in the Los Angeles area, stealing at least eight luxury handbags and assaulting a guard before making a clean getaway.
Five people, one wearing an orange wig, entered the store in Canoga Park just before 7 p.m. and sprayed a security guard with “some kind of chemical” as terrified shoppers fled, according to the Daily Mail.
“The thieves sped off and managed to escape with thousands of dollars worth of handbags despite multiple police cruisers, as well as fire trucks and ambulances, responding to the raid,” the Mail reported.
A rash of flash thefts have occurred across California in San Jose, Santana Row, Hayward, and Walnut Creek. In each, waves of thieves — in one instance close to 100 — stormed into stores and stole as much as they could carry. Thieves have stolen tens of thousands of dollars worth of luxury goods, but often face little consequence amid soft misdemeanor theft laws passed in 2014 by voters in the Democrat-run state.
But the robbers aren’t acting alone. “Law enforcement say that mercenary thieves are being recruited for up to $1,000 to steal the expensive goods which are then shipped across state lines and sold on the internet. The sophisticated method makes it harder for cops to track the criminals,” the Mail reported.
Meanwhile, a debate has broken out about what to call the thefts.
Police and law enforcement “experts” in California are saying that the recent surge of smash-and-grab thefts in California shouldn’t be called “looting” because that term carries racial connotations.
That has prompted a spokesman for the San Diego Police Department to call the thefts “organized robbery,” according to one report.
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent, and ran the Drudge Report from 2010 to 2015. Send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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