Few crimes have caused the French fashion label Louis Vuitton to apologize like the theft of 18,000 luxury handbags from one of its Chicago stores. The bags’ value has been estimated at $100,000.
The robbery occurred last Sunday at the Louis Vuitton store on Rush Street in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood. The thieves’ ranks include someone with a rifle and two police officers who were caught on security camera firing gunshots toward the fleeing suspects, according to the Chicago Tribune. The bag thieves appear to have parked their black BMW beside the store before managing to leap the store’s security fence and gain access to the Louis Vuitton location.
In a statement, Louis Vuitton said that the stolen merchandise “included a variety of handbags, scarves, belt buckles, briefcases,” among other items. “The great majority of the goods contained were handbags and purses. All items have been recovered by police.”
The luxury store said that it was unable to inspect all the missing bags and accessories until the end of the week, when employees would be able to trace their origin. The thieves, who’ve been identified as African-American males, allegedly fled the store with most of the stolen goods in their car. The weapon-toting thieves have not been arrested, but several people were arrested on suspicion of helping them escape, according to reports. Chicago police were looking for help in locating two people, and the wounded officers were treated for injuries as a result of the shooting. Both officers were released a day later, though their roles remain unclear.
The robbery was apparently planned out and the thieves had identified the location before the robbery. Chicago police were running a series of anonymous tips that have led them to an exclusive parking garage in the Gold Coast neighborhood where the suspects are suspected to have fled after the robbery. Chicago police are asking residents of the area for more information on the case.
Read the full story at Chicago Tribune.
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