Louis Vuitton stores in Chicago and San Francisco hit in smash-and-grab thefts

More than a dozen people involved in both cases, with mulitple arrests already made

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Monday 22 November 2021 14:55
Thieves steal $100,000 in Louis Vuitton merchandise by walking into store while guard was on break
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Police in suburban Chicago and downtown San Francisco are investigating brazen thefts of Louis Vuitton merchandise from stores in both cities.

On Wednesday afternoon 14 suspects entered the Oakbrook Center Mall, west of Chicago, Fox 32 reported.

The armed guard at the Louis Vuitton store was reportedly on a short break at 3.30pm when the group entered and began grabbing merchandise from the displays.

The guard quickly returned and attempted to stop the robbery but all suspects got away with products totalling approximately $100,000. The average cost of a Louis Vuitton handbag is $3,000.

Police say they have a solid lead on who is behind the theft and have detailed descriptions of a vehicle used with its license plate number.

"We do have some information on when they fled the area, and we also have vehicle information too, which is very helpful. Vehicle descriptions, even close-up photos of license plates, so we’re nailing down all those leads now, our detectives are out working those leads," said Police Chief James Kruger.

In San Francisco, the Louis Vuitton store on Union Square in the downtown area was targeted in a similar smash-and-grab style on Friday night.

Video posted to Twitter shows the storefront with broken glass on the sidewalk. Eyewitness accounts revealed that approximately a dozen people were seen running out of the store with merchandise.

One dramatic clip shows some thieves fleeing the store laden with goods before police arrive in a patrol car and swarm one suspect’s vehicle, striking it with their batons and dragging a person into the street.

CBS News reports police responded to several suspects “involved in criminal acts” at around 8pm on Friday evening in the California city.

Multiple suspects have been arrested.

Audacious burglaries of high-end stores appear to be on the rise across the nation. In late October two men raided the Christian Louboutin store in New York’s West Village, taking more than $10,000 worth of handbags.

The same month a Bottega Veneta store on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile was also targetted, with 12 men snatching 35 handbags. A beauty store was raided in a northern suburb of the city with thieves filmed filling bags with makeup.

In July a gang of thieves raided the Neiman Marcus department in San Francisco, making off with expensive handbags and purses.

San Francisco has hit back at accusations that crime is out of control by noting that data shows overall thefts were down by nine per cent in the first six months of the year compared to the same period in 2020.

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