Purse-stealing thieves have repeatedly targeted high-end retailers along and near the Magnificent Mile in recent weeks. Now, Chicago police are sharing video of one recent crime.
The footage shows two men stealing purses worth tens of thousands of dollars from Bottega Veneta, 800 North Michigan, around 2:54 p.m. on October 11, according to a source and CPD’s media statement. Here’s the video:
In the video, one man who was allowed into the store returns to the front door and apparently allows a second offender to enter. The first man briefly grapples with the store’s employee before both offenders head to the sales floor to collect purses from the display cases.
Tips regarding the crime, which is logged under CPD case number JE-406228, can be shared with Area Three Detective DiVito at 312-744-8263.
Bottega Veneta was struck by a larger group of thieves who used a similar ruse to enter on September 20.
Around 4 o’clock that afternoon, an employee admitted a man into the boutique, and about eleven other men poured in behind the first. According to a property management company’s email to nearby residents, the crew collected about 35 handbags, which retail for thousands of dollars each, and ran out the door. A police report said the crew escaped in at least two cars, including a gray Honda CRV.
Some of the biggest names in high fashion are losing thousands — sometimes tens of thousands — of dollars to a team of thieves that is storming into their stores to steal purses and handbags from display shelves, according to CPD reports. The raids have been happening during afternoon hours along the Mag Mile and Rush Street corridors.
On October 13, up to ten young thieves raided the Saint Laurent store at 11 East Walton around 11:27 a.m. and stole merchandise worth about $35,000, according to an initial estimate.
Chicago police have issued several warnings this year about lightning-fast strikes by teams that specialize in stealing purses, which are often sold via resale apps and online. Dior, Ikram, and Gucci have all been hit.
In August, a 73-year-old security guard was critically injured when a shoplifting mob knocked him to the ground at Salvatore Ferragamo, 645 North Michigan.
Crews also hit Burberry and Moncler in September.
The Saint Laurent store has been hit before. A four-man crew snatched ten handbags worth $15,000 from the retailer in December 2019. The nearby Gucci store lost $17,280 to a theft crew later the same afternoon. Other than last year’s looting sprees, one of the biggest raids may be the December 2018 theft at Dior, 931 North Rush. An estimated $100,000 worth of merchandise was taken.