These thieves are bold, and they know exactly what they are looking for. Police say they've stolen over 40 designer handbags, each valued between $2,500 and $5,000.
"We think they're working as a group. They typically run into the store, grab as many handbags as they can, run back out to a waiting car," said Detective Bob Smull of the Upper Merion Township Police Department.
The first theft happened on December 13th of last year. Police say one suspect ran into a store and put his arm through the handles of about 13 bags, then sprinted out of the mall to a Chevy Camaro, which is believed to be a rental. His take? $25,000 in handbags.
Police believe the same suspect hit again on April 4th, and again took $25,000 worth of handbags. A getaway driver was waiting in this car at a door to the mall. Then, on April 24th, police say that suspect had help from a woman and a man. They got away in an older model white Buick with 26 handbags valued at $62,000.
"The female and the male grabbed as many handbags as they could, while the second male talked to the employees and actually did threaten the employees with violence," said Smull.
Investigators say it wasn't the first time store employees were threatened.
"And that's why we want to get these people off the street because of how brazen they are with the thefts," said Smull.
Because of the threat of violence, these suspects face charges of not just theft but the more serious criminal charge of robbery.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Upper Merion Township Police Department at (610) 265-3232 or their anonymous tip line at 484-636-3888.
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