Shoplifters take more than $8,000 of perfume

Sephora store at Stanford mall hit twice in two days

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 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.


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2 people like this
Posted by Elizabeth
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 20, 2017 at 11:25 am

I wonder how Sephora could ramp up security after this. Do other locations put everything but the samples behind glass? I noticed that the CVS on University recently did that to their perfume case, possibly in response to this?

5 people like this
Posted by hmm
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 20, 2017 at 6:11 pm

smells like an inside job!

2 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 21, 2017 at 10:05 pm

If they charged a reasonable price for that juice they'd lose less money in thefts.

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