Long Island Thieves Swipe Handbags Worth Nearly $100K 

Handbag thieves in Long Island made off with a swath of high-end purses.

By Charlene Badasie | Published

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The Walmart Employee Who Liked To Let People Steal

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The Hamptons is known as the destination of choice for the wealthy. It’s where the 1% spends most of their summers, partying on the beachfront and basking in the sunshine. So when one of the up-market stores in East Hampton village became the target of handbag thieves, the quiet community was left rather shaken. The ordeal began when five people entered a high-end Balenciaga retailer in East Hampton on March 3rd.

According to abc7, surveillance footage shows a woman entering the store in a pink ski mask and sunglasses. She then appears to shop while on her phone. When she asked an employee to see if they had a particular shoe in her size, four masked individuals entered the store. Within seconds, they made off with handbags worth approximately $94,000. The thieves fled the scene in a black Dodge Durango.

An employee at a nearby store called the police after noticing the suspicious activity. With the police chasing after them, the handbag thieves tried to speed away at almost 100 miles per hour. When the East Hampton Village Police Department reached the edge of their jurisdiction, New York State Troopers picked up the high-speed chase. After a long and dangerous chase, troopers saw the car exit the highway onto Wading River Road.

Three suspected handbag thieves then jumped out of the car and fled to the safety of a nearby wooded area. The two remaining suspects attempted to gather up the stolen loot before following them. Police officers were able to arrest four suspects after thoroughly searching the area. Fortunately for the store owner, they were able to recover 36 of the 48 stolen designer bags.

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The handbag thieves were identified as New Jersey residents. Three men and one woman were indicted for the crime this week. The woman in the pink ski mask who initially entered the store is still at large. “This is part of an organized retail theft ring,” Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney said as he announced the grand jury indictment via WCBS News Radio.

The handbag thieves that were arrested have been charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. In addition to visiting Suffolk County for the purpose of stealing the property of others, their crime put innocent people’s lives at risk when they left the crime scene and drove at recklessly high speeds. “I hope this case makes clear our commitment to prosecute anyone involved in organized thefts at our retail stores,” the District Attorney added

Addressing the crime in more detail Tierney explained that this type of crime rings prey on locations they perceive as soft targets. And the merchandise they make off with becomes a great source of revenue on a secondary market. Moreover, stores are being forced to close due to the large amount of retail theft that’s impacting the country. Essentially the loss of that revenue, from handbag thieves and others like them, is transferred to consumers. So sadly, it’s the general public who pays the price for these crimes.