Heist at Hermes: Surveillance Video Released in $500K Fashion Valley Mall Theft

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Authorities Tuesday released two surveillance videos showing a fast-working crew of burglars ransacking a Fashion Valley luxury- goods retailer and making off with merchandise valued at more than a half- million dollars.

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Investigators hope the videos, combined with previously released surveillance photographs of several vehicles and some of the suspects, will lead to a tip to help them solve the case.

The group of 10 thieves, all wearing gloves and hooded sweatshirts, used a crowbar to pry open the front door of the Hermes De Paris store at the Friars Road shopping center shortly before 4:30 a.m. on Jan. 21, according to San Diego police. While inside the business for about two minutes, the bandits stole a variety of items, including purses, jewelry and clothing. The total loss was estimated at in excess of $500,000.

The burglars arrived and fled in three vehicles — a white Chevrolet Suburban and two blue sedans of unknown make and model — with paper license plates. Investigators believe the thieves may have taken part in a series of break-in thefts at high-end department stores across California.

Last week, investigators released surveillance stills of three of the suspects, which appear to have been captured at a grocery store or market of some kind. In the photograph, all three suspects wear unzipped, hooded sweatshirts.

In the newly released surveillance videos, the bandits’ faces are shrouded by their hoods, and the quality of the videos are poor. But they show how the crew quickly spread out, yanking purses off sales racks and smashing and overturning display cases filled with jewelry. The burglars stuffed the items in bags as they go, with the last suspect out the door continuing to grab items while fleeing.

Anyone with information about the case was asked to call San Diego County Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477 or contact the agency online at sdcrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

—City News Service

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