Chanel is apparently a popular and lucrative scent with thieves who stole about 100 bottles of the costly perfume from a Stanford Shopping Center store over two days last week, Palo Alto police said.
Two women with large purses walked into the rear of the Sephora store at 180 El Camino Real on April 10 at 1 p.m. and swept up from shelves more than 50 bottles valued at just under $5,000, police Sgt. Rich Bullerjahn said. A day later on April 11, two women who entered the store at 3:30 p.m. also had large purses took about 50 bottles of the perfume off the shelves valued at $4,700 and quickly exited, he said.
The first incident was not reported until the next day when the second theft took place. Bullerjahn said he did not know if any employees saw the women removing the merchandise or if they later discovered the thefts and saw video surveillance footage, which captured the crimes.
Police do not know if the the same women were involved in both incidents, but there are similarities. In both cases the women were African-American women in their 20s, about 5 feet 7 inches tall with medium builds and carried large purses, but their clothing was different.
"It's quite possible they are the same suspects, but we are not sure," he said. Sometimes people who do these crimes like to tell other like-minded people they know about how easy it was to walk in and take merchandise and a second group follows the same pattern, he said.
Anyone with information about these crimes is asked to call the Palo Alto Police Department at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent by text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the department's free mobile app, that can be downloaded through Apple's App Store or Google Play.