News

Group steals $50K worth of handbags from The RealReal

Theft at downtown store marks third pricey heist in about a month

More than $50,000 worth of handbags were stolen from The RealReal store in downtown Palo Alto on June 21, 2021. Courtesy Thibault Cartier Photography.

The RealReal became the latest store targeted in a string of expensive handbag thefts in Palo Alto on Monday after a coordinated group of seven men raided the retailer's downtown store, police said Tuesday.

A security guard at the 379 University Ave. store called police on June 21 shortly before 6 p.m. to report the theft, which took place while the luxury consignment store near Waverley Street was open. Officers responded immediately but the men had already fled, Palo Alto police said in a press release.

Five men entered the store and began ripping handbags from security cables, according to police. The store's on-duty security officer, who is in his 30s, attempted to block their exit, but the group pushed him out of the way.

The security officer followed them out of the store, where he was confronted by two other men who had stayed outside during the theft. One man demanded the other to "pull the gun" and the second man allegedly told the security officer, "Don't make me pull the gun." The security officer didn't see a weapon, police said.

The seven men ran east on University Avenue. The security officer reported hearing tires screeching from vehicles on Waverley Street, but didn't see them.

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Employees estimated the group stole about 20 handbags with a total value of more than $50,000, police said.

The security officer and another employee, a woman in her 20s, described the group as Black men in their early 20s. All were wearing face coverings and clothing with the hoods up. Police will not be releasing any surveillance images of the incident; the footage would not aid in the identification of the men, they said.

Palo Alto officers are working with regional law enforcement agencies to find out if the same group of individuals might be connected to any similar thefts in other cities, police said.

Investigators are exploring whether Monday's theft is associated with two other recent, similar cases that occurred at Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto at Neiman Marcus on May 19, when a coordinated group stole $150,000 worth of handbags, and on June 7 at Louis Vuitton, which lost $100,000 in a similar heist.

Anyone with information about Monday's theft is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to [email protected] or sent by text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the police's free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.

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Group steals $50K worth of handbags from The RealReal

Theft at downtown store marks third pricey heist in about a month

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Jun 22, 2021, 5:40 pm

The RealReal became the latest store targeted in a string of expensive handbag thefts in Palo Alto on Monday after a coordinated group of seven men raided the retailer's downtown store, police said Tuesday.

A security guard at the 379 University Ave. store called police on June 21 shortly before 6 p.m. to report the theft, which took place while the luxury consignment store near Waverley Street was open. Officers responded immediately but the men had already fled, Palo Alto police said in a press release.

Five men entered the store and began ripping handbags from security cables, according to police. The store's on-duty security officer, who is in his 30s, attempted to block their exit, but the group pushed him out of the way.

The security officer followed them out of the store, where he was confronted by two other men who had stayed outside during the theft. One man demanded the other to "pull the gun" and the second man allegedly told the security officer, "Don't make me pull the gun." The security officer didn't see a weapon, police said.

The seven men ran east on University Avenue. The security officer reported hearing tires screeching from vehicles on Waverley Street, but didn't see them.

Employees estimated the group stole about 20 handbags with a total value of more than $50,000, police said.

The security officer and another employee, a woman in her 20s, described the group as Black men in their early 20s. All were wearing face coverings and clothing with the hoods up. Police will not be releasing any surveillance images of the incident; the footage would not aid in the identification of the men, they said.

Palo Alto officers are working with regional law enforcement agencies to find out if the same group of individuals might be connected to any similar thefts in other cities, police said.

Investigators are exploring whether Monday's theft is associated with two other recent, similar cases that occurred at Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto at Neiman Marcus on May 19, when a coordinated group stole $150,000 worth of handbags, and on June 7 at Louis Vuitton, which lost $100,000 in a similar heist.

Anyone with information about Monday's theft is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to [email protected] or sent by text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the police's free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.

Comments

Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 22, 2021 at 6:08 pm
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jun 22, 2021 at 6:08 pm

First it was ice cream stores, now it is handbags! 2021 continues...


Monica Preston
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 23, 2021 at 7:31 am
Monica Preston, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Jun 23, 2021 at 7:31 am

Stealing food to feed one's family (i.e. Les Miserables) is one thing.

Stealing luxury handbags for black market/fencing opportunities is another.

Unfortunately there is a large underground market for prestige merchandise which in turn feeds the larcenous beast.

The shallow individuals who place an undying importance on outward fashion statements and appearances are just as guilty as the theives themselves.

It is open season for these kinds of thefts with no end in sight as conspicuous consumerism is a very powerful addiction with a very low rehab rate.


Covid-Kid
Registered user
Mountain View
on Jun 23, 2021 at 9:10 am
Covid-Kid, Mountain View
Registered user
on Jun 23, 2021 at 9:10 am
Francisco Alacante
Registered user
Stanford
on Jun 23, 2021 at 10:13 am
Francisco Alacante, Stanford
Registered user
on Jun 23, 2021 at 10:13 am

You cannot eat a handbag no matter how elegant or expensive it is.

And the same applies to Rolex watches and those costly red-soled Lubouton stilettos that many shallow fashionistas seem to favor.


NanaDi
Registered user
Midtown
on Jun 23, 2021 at 11:08 am
NanaDi, Midtown
Registered user
on Jun 23, 2021 at 11:08 am

I find Monica Preston's statement labeling the consumers of high-fashion labels as "shallow" petty and unjust. I see nothing wrong or shallow about people who have worked hard enjoying the rewards of their hard work and indulging in Designer merchandise, travel, or any other luxuries. I think that it keeps the economy running. Personally, I do not own any Designer merchandise, and I find Monica's comment betrays envy, perhaps?


Ismail Muhammad
Registered user
Midtown
on Jun 23, 2021 at 12:09 pm
Ismail Muhammad , Midtown
Registered user
on Jun 23, 2021 at 12:09 pm

Hi Monica,

Personally I do not think the consumers of these overpriced handbags are guilty of anything, perhaps except for a bit of vanity.

It seems like a growing trend in society to make excuses for those that break the law, blaming society or the “system”... rather than asking people to hold themselves to higher standards.

[Portion removed.]


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 23, 2021 at 12:38 pm
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jun 23, 2021 at 12:38 pm

Having an expensive designer handbag for some is the same as driving an expensive car, wearing an expensive pair of sneakers, or dining at Michelin star restaurants on a regular basis. It is not up to us to tell wealthy people how they spend their disposable income. It is not up to us to tell not so wealthy people that spending money on expensive fads could be better spent.

Sending a message to those who steal these items that it is wrong to steal, wrong to cheat and crime doesn't pay is the message that should be sent. Anyone supporting thieves by excusing their behavior as an acceptable way to find money to feed their family, pay their rent, or earn respect from their peers, is wrong.


Beatrice Taylor
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jun 23, 2021 at 1:14 pm
Beatrice Taylor, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jun 23, 2021 at 1:14 pm

"It is not up to us to tell not so wealthy people that spending money on expensive fads could be better spent."

Tending to food, shelter, and clothing + proper medical care & basic transportation take precedence over coveting luxury items.

Many poorer people as well as middle-class spenders with massive consumer credit card debt don't seem to have this common sense mentality.

The bottom line...who are you trying to impress with your Hermes handbag, Rolex and Mercedes Benz and who really cares?

Except one's own ego and vanity.


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Jun 23, 2021 at 1:29 pm
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Jun 23, 2021 at 1:29 pm

The only people responsible are the thieves. I hope they're caught, and I'm glad no one was hurt.


Darbin Wong
Registered user
Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jun 23, 2021 at 1:40 pm
Darbin Wong, Leland Manor/Garland Drive
Registered user
on Jun 23, 2021 at 1:40 pm

I suspect that the only people hung-up on designer labels and luxury goods are those who want to impress others on a superficial basis...in other words, plastic people.

The theives are well aware of this and they have a ready and willing market.

And so in many ways, the prospective buyers are just as guilty as the theives.

Marie Antoinette and the Kardashians send their regards.


Aletheia
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Jun 23, 2021 at 1:56 pm
Aletheia, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Jun 23, 2021 at 1:56 pm

I hear a number of young, black people complain about being followed around stores by security. Now do you understand why? I thought you did!


Ismail Muhammad
Registered user
Midtown
on Jun 23, 2021 at 3:04 pm
Ismail Muhammad , Midtown
Registered user
on Jun 23, 2021 at 3:04 pm

Aletheia,

Your comment can definitely be tasteless and even interpreted as racist to many, but kudos for speaking the truth.

Racial profiling exists for a reason. So far all the recent heists involving enough handbags to pay for a few years of Stanford tuition have been committed by African Americans.

If I was a business owner or mall management, I would reluctantly and sadly have to tell my employees and security that if they see a group of African Americans (especially younger people under age 50 or so), be vigilant and be ready to respond. Prevention is one of the best reactions.

And this is coming from a brown skinned Muslim man who is quite vocal about the destruction and crimes the American military have committed in the Middle East yet is rarely if ever reported (rather we focus on cops killing “unarmed” criminals that happen extremely infrequently).


Wilhelm Gerhardt
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Jun 23, 2021 at 3:33 pm
Wilhelm Gerhardt, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Jun 23, 2021 at 3:33 pm

✓ Sending a message to those who steal these items that it is wrong to steal, wrong to cheat and crime doesn't pay is the message that should be sent.

^ Good luck with that.

This message has been disseminated since Moses came down from Mt. Sinai with his stone tablets and to date the biblical communique has been neither received or accepted by generations of thieves. Or so it seems.

Some people are going to steal...it's as simple as that and let's not even get into cheating. Everybody cheats in one way or another.

And the mantra remains...just don't get caught.

So now what?


Alexa
Registered user
Mountain View
on Jun 23, 2021 at 3:58 pm
Alexa, Mountain View
Registered user
on Jun 23, 2021 at 3:58 pm

I am not ashamed to say that I shop at the stores that have been robbed, except for Louis Vuitton, which is not my taste. I also schedule serious business lunches in Neiman Marcus because the restaurant is out of the way and relatively private. Last week, I moved such a lunch to Nordstrom's third floor restaurant because I didn't want to risk having my out-of-town guest exposed to the necessary increased police presence at Stanford Shopping Center and the real possibility that Neiman's will be hit again by these gangs of miscreant thugs who prey on stores THAT EMPLOY PEOPLE WHO NEED JOBS LOCALLY. Further, the luxury goods industry employs people around the world from those who tan leather to the clerk at RealReal. Think about that while you sit in front of your expensive computer/smart phone in Silicon Valley with enough leisure time to write to this local newspaper.


Wilhelm Gerhardt
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Jun 23, 2021 at 4:18 pm
Wilhelm Gerhardt, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Jun 23, 2021 at 4:18 pm

> the luxury goods industry employs people around the world from those who tan leather to the clerk at RealReal.

^ And what % of the retail price of a typical Hermes handbag are they 'rewarded' with?

Chances are the leather tanner and retail clerk are making pennies on the dollar.

> Think about that while you sit in front of your expensive computer/smart phone in Silicon Valley with enough leisure time to write to this local newspaper.

^ A computer/smartphone (regardless of price) serve a PRACTICAL function along with many applications.

What actual function does an expensive designer handbag serve other than being an extension of snobbery and one upsmanship?

It's kind of like what the other poster said about those ridiculously overpriced stilettos with the red soles. BFD

It's no wonder thieves brazenly target this kind of merchandise.


YP
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jun 23, 2021 at 4:18 pm
YP, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jun 23, 2021 at 4:18 pm

another indication that our society is in trouble. No respect for laws, criminals treated as victims, police are the bad guys. Guess what anarchy is what we will get especially because our state and local governments are run by liberals and DAs refuse to prioritize (or even ignore) crimes like this. Fortunately I'm now an empty nester and headed out of here. I will prove Don Henley wrong... I can leave.


We Told You So!
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Jun 23, 2021 at 4:59 pm
We Told You So!, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Jun 23, 2021 at 4:59 pm

Its amazing and Suspicious, that All of a Sudden Thieves have discovered this Open Goldmine Market in Palo Alto, of seeking Inventory? The Exclusive area seems to appear to come under the "Eyes" of a certain cliental to serve?

The Area has become a Treasure trove for Those that want to replenish Their Criminal Inventory. It almost sounds like when Thieves, Created a market of stealing Cars or just the Catalytic Converters, and sending them off to "Chop Shops" for particular Clients?

I wonder if the Thieves are sending them over Seas? Or Selling them to persons in the Celebrity arena? Finding them on Their Arms? Like the Kardashian?
Or simply Show up on eBay or some other Market Place?

In the End the Trail Blazing Souls will be caught.
It'll come under the categories of The "Reward" system OR "Turn in 3, Go FREE".


chris
Registered user
University South
on Jun 23, 2021 at 5:02 pm
chris, University South
Registered user
on Jun 23, 2021 at 5:02 pm

These handbag stores have terrible security. What good are their security guards? What good are their security cables?

Drug stores lock up items that cost $20 or less. Jewelry stores lock up merchandise that costs less than these handbags.


Jim Davis
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jun 23, 2021 at 5:45 pm
Jim Davis, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jun 23, 2021 at 5:45 pm

"These handbag stores have terrible security. What good are their security guards? What good are their security cables?"

° Surveillance cameras are the best bet as they chronicle the illegal activity and can aid in identifying the culprits.

If you were a security guard making $15.00/hour, would you risk life and limb trying to accost five robbers/potential assailants who might be armed?

All for some stupid, overpriced designer handbags?

Or to ensure that a certain handbag is in stock for some vainglorious customer who has ZERO concept for the value of a shrinking dollar?

Or to ensure that Kardashian/Hilton mentalities are assured of living in a superficial world?

Not me.


HS
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 23, 2021 at 6:03 pm
HS, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jun 23, 2021 at 6:03 pm

The ignorance needs to addressed to the folks that are blaming the victim. Let's use some brands already mentioned here. Hermes, Christian Louboutin, Rolex, etc. These products are all made in First World countries, not China. Example, Hermes handbags, all made in France, have apprentices train for seven years. They are compensated very well for their craft. Rolex's are handmade in Switzerland, red-soled Louboutin's mostly made in Spain or Italy. These are all handmade, crafted one at a time and among the reasons why these 'luxury' items cost so much. There is no "pennies on the dollar" to quote one user. People appreciate the craftsmanship and many view these as pieces of art and their designers as artists. Surely, people in the Bay Area can appreciate artists?

Who is The RealReal? They are a consignor. Individual seller doesn't get paid unless the item sells. They take authentic luxury items and most of the time sell it at a reduced price for various reasons. Who uses RealReal? Maybe it's a young lady that has some bills to pay and made a difficult decision to sell a vintage piece her grandmother gave her. Or a man who got laid off and needs to sell his pricey shoes to pay rent. Perhaps a husband wants to buy something his wife has wished for years to have, and with a reduced price he can actually afford it for her.

What about buzz-term Carbon Footprint? Doesn't buying a used piece reduce that footprint? Environmentalists likely appreciate that. And a person can keep one luxury handbag for decades, how long for a 'practical' smartphone or laptop?

There are people who work really hard and save money for a long time to be able to afford some luxury piece. There are those that lust for the flash, that's their problem. The point is, it's none of anyone's business what who sells or buys and why. People stole things that didn't belong to them. They are thieves. It's wrong.


NanaDi
Registered user
Midtown
on Jun 23, 2021 at 6:06 pm
NanaDi, Midtown
Registered user
on Jun 23, 2021 at 6:06 pm

Geez, Guys. Are people not entitled to enjoy quality items without being judged as shallow and/or superficial, as long as they are willing to pay the price? Many Designer bags have earned their status as pricy because of the quality and long life that they afford the owner.
How about we recognize greed and entitlement for what it is, instead of making excuses for these despicable thieves. Thank goodness no one has been hurt so far by their wanton, brazen activities. I hope they all get caught and are sentenced to the full extent of the law.


YP
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jun 23, 2021 at 6:44 pm
YP, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jun 23, 2021 at 6:44 pm

reading some of these comments, we are in real trouble as a society. Criminals run amok, law enforcement denigrated, those that dare to shop and buy at these stores are somehow the perps..??

California, I've lived here for 50 years, we've lost your way. I will leave it to all of you to pontificate why, but be wary of the PAO editors who suppress free speech.


Alexa
Registered user
Mountain View
on Jun 23, 2021 at 7:44 pm
Alexa, Mountain View
Registered user
on Jun 23, 2021 at 7:44 pm

@HS
Thank you for describing how prestige branded items are made. Some of the European brands are well over a 100 years old, as are Tiffany's, Shreve's and other high end jewelers. It is interesting that these gangs are targeting high end purses and not jewelry. The RealReal and Neiman's have extremely expensive jewelry feet away from their purses. Obviously, these gangs do not have access to high end fences who can churn diamonds, etc.

I have in fact consigned numerous items over the past thirty years with the various outlets in this area. The RealReal is the latest, and frankly the best, of the bunch. I have also purchased items at these stores. Call it recycling if you wish. My mother, who grew up in the Depression, taught us to buy the highest quality item we could, on sale, and until it until it wore out or we could no longer use it. Our family then donated still usable items to the Good Will and various Catholic charities. It's truly unfortunate that many of the commenters here cannot understand how American commerce really works. Thank goodness my first generation mother did.


Seer
Registered user
Fairmeadow
on Jun 23, 2021 at 8:48 pm
Seer, Fairmeadow
Registered user
on Jun 23, 2021 at 8:48 pm

Can we put aside judgments about what people buy for a moment and jail us some thieves?


HS
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 23, 2021 at 10:41 pm
HS, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jun 23, 2021 at 10:41 pm

Alexa, you’re welcome. It’s just appreciating quality.

YP, I completely agree with you. Too bad for us you’re leaving, but good for you. Enjoy more of your 1A.

NanaDi, you go girl.

Seer, I completely agree, jail the thieves. Getting distracted from the real task. But to find a solution lately, local governments must first admit there’s a problem.


Mo Revue
Registered user
Stanford
on Jun 23, 2021 at 11:55 pm
Mo Revue, Stanford
Registered user
on Jun 23, 2021 at 11:55 pm

A few things here to disseminate.
First. There have been multiple snatch and run robberies of these handbags from Stanford Mall to downtown. These activities are criminal & may result in violence to innocent citizens. So it’s in the lap of policing to make a plan to protect those citizens that could be in the wrong place at the wrong time with tragic results.
Second. I believe almost 100% of the criminal gangs that are identified on CCTV have been people of color and/or African American. So unfortunately people that have this skin color, at the very least in a large group entering the stores..should & must be profiled and stopped & questioned.
Third. I have now ruffled the cancel culture crowd & apologize up front that this is what it comes to in certain situations. Preventative policing is common sense to arrest a trend..and isn’t this past alarming the community? So let’s drop the pretense and kumbaya hopes about society. Designer bags produce easily fenced items for cash. If a group of hooded profiled people of color are not attempting to rob a store..then politely ask them to leave & apologize for any inconvenience the questioning caused. These high end stores will have to place 4-8 armed officers in each store if they want to continue to sell these products at great profit. It’s called the cost of doing business and it’s in a world that is afraid to deal with uncomfortable truths.


Willis Freeman
Registered user
East Palo Alto
on Jun 24, 2021 at 6:59 am
Willis Freeman, East Palo Alto
Registered user
on Jun 24, 2021 at 6:59 am

"If a group of hooded profiled people of color are not attempting to rob a store..then politely ask them to leave & apologize for any inconvenience the questioning caused."

^ If they are not robbing the store why would you ask them to leave? This is racist profiling...maybe they were just browsing.

It makes more sense to tell them to leave if they are actually robbing the store and to kindly leave the expensive merchandise behind.

Another option...hire more black sales people at these exclusive stores that cater to frivolous middle class white consumers with elitist spending habits. In other words, add some color to the sales floor.

And offer them generous wages and employee discounts to discourage employee theft.

No wait...that probably wouldn't work because most uppity white women would not want to be helped by a black sales assistant speaking in African American street vernacular.

Bad for the business.



Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 24, 2021 at 7:22 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Jun 24, 2021 at 7:22 am

Incredible situational ethics here. What's the difference between the organized handbag gangs here and the organized retail crime gangs whose shoplifting is so bad and so blatant they've succeeded in getting 17 Sam Francisco Walgreen's closed along with a bunch of CVS stores, depriving "uppity" senior citizens" et al of convenient access to pharmacists and shopping.

Or for that matter, the "uppity" owners of older cars routinely targeted bu7 organized car thieves, the "uppity" kids whose bikes are stolen, the "uppity" owners of cars with catalytic converters.


Jacqueline Marchant
Registered user
another community
on Jun 24, 2021 at 7:49 am
Jacqueline Marchant, another community
Registered user
on Jun 24, 2021 at 7:49 am

As a proprietor of a fine leather goods store that caters to exclusive tastes, it disturbs me to hear of these smash and grab type robberies.

It is frightening to employees and customers alike not to mention store damages and loss of merchandise.

These exclusive designer items were initially conceived to separate the classes and unfortunately there are many in the lower social classes who also wish to be identified for something they are not.

This explains the many knock-offs and fakes whether it be designer handbags, designer fashions, Swiss-crafted wristwatches, or multi-carat diamonds.

We are gradually de-evolving to a point where there will no longer be any more outward indicators of one's social or economic standing and this is very disturbing.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 24, 2021 at 9:16 am
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jun 24, 2021 at 9:16 am

I believe I read somewhere that Steve Jobs ordered his uniform black roll neck shirts in bulk from an expensive store, but he could have just as easily bought them from Target and we would have been none the wiser. The same could be said about Mark Zuckerberg's gray T shirts which he also bought in bulk but they cost a great deal more than the equivalent from WalMart and nobody could tell the price from looking.

Expensive handbags may have the reputation of the logo they carry and could quite possibly outlive the owner due to how well they wear, but styles and fads change and they probably are left on a shelf when a more up to date version has been purchased by the bored owner.

The bottom line is that people do buy expensive items for whatever reason and those items are supposed to be impressed, but often don't impress anyone.

However, stealing those items and passing them on for money paid by wannabees is obviously lucrative enough and the repercussions of the crime when caught is not strong enough a dissentive for stealing. Crime is paying and that is why they continue to do it.

Crime and punishment have no correlation. Things have to change at that level before we can see these types of thefts stop.


NanaDi
Registered user
Midtown
on Jun 24, 2021 at 9:33 am
NanaDi, Midtown
Registered user
on Jun 24, 2021 at 9:33 am

Me, again.....I strongly object to the references to the Buyers of luxury products as "frivolous middle class white consumers with elitist tastes". This hateful stereotyping does nothing to solve this alarming problem. This is not 1917 Russia; this is the United States, where people are entitled to celebrate their independence and their wealth, regardless of how offensive this might be to those who have achieved less in life. I am an 80-year-old Grandmother who does not own a Designer bag, or any other accessory that might be described as "luxury"; I strongly feel that the ONLY criminals in this situation are the perpetrators, and I urge Law Enforcement to make their apprehension a priority.


Jack Whitaker
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Jun 24, 2021 at 11:16 am
Jack Whitaker, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Jun 24, 2021 at 11:16 am

>> Steve Jobs ordered his uniform black roll neck shirts in bulk from an expensive store, but he could have just as easily bought them from Target and we would have been none the wiser. The same could be said about Mark Zuckerberg's gray T shirts which he also bought in bulk but they cost a great deal more than the equivalent from WalMart and nobody could tell the price from looking.

° Hmm...I wear Haynes Beefy-Ts which are pretty durable and cost-effective.

And while the late Steve Jobs and the currently alive Mark Zuckerberg could/can afford to wear whatever T-shirt brand they wish, I suspect their choices had to do with fit, comfort, and softness of the 100% cotton materials used.

And hopefully these T-shirts were 'Made In the USA' rather than from some 3rd world country or the PRC.

As for the fancy, overpriced, and ostentatious handbags and shoes some fashionista women prefer, providing they are paying for these items on their own dime, no problem.

But as a husband who pays 95% of the bills, I will not subsidize these high maintenance fashion expenditures as they are both FRIVOLOUS and superficial.

And the same goes for various hair salon-related expenditures focused on making my 50 year-old wife appear 30...like what's the point? She's 50 and cannot turn back the clock and neither can I.


Malcom Welby
Registered user
Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jun 24, 2021 at 4:57 pm
Malcom Welby, Leland Manor/Garland Drive
Registered user
on Jun 24, 2021 at 4:57 pm

What I don't understand are the vegans who carry expensive designer leather handbags.

Shouldn't Hermes and Louis Vuitton be manufacturing luxuriously styled hemp handbags for those so inclined?


Ismail Muhammad
Registered user
Midtown
on Jun 24, 2021 at 6:38 pm
Ismail Muhammad , Midtown
Registered user
on Jun 24, 2021 at 6:38 pm

Hi Willis Freeman

“If they are not robbing the store why would you ask them to leave? This is racist profiling...”

I think what this person is suggesting is preventative measures. If employees see a group of younger Black people coming in the store... be wary and be ready to call police. Racial profiling exists for a reason. And noticing peculiarities helps too. Next time you’ll tell me a 75 year old White man walking into a store exclusively catered to urban rap and hip hop is “not unusual”.

“It makes more sense to tell them to leave if they are actually robbing the store and to kindly leave the expensive merchandise behind.”

By then it would be too late and I doubt any determined thief is going to leave merchandise behind if someone politely asked them to.

“Another option...hire more black sales people at these exclusive stores that cater to frivolous middle class white consumers with elitist spending habits. In other words, add some color to the sales floor.”

Have you ever wondered maybe the reason why there’s not as many Black people working in these type of stores is because... more of them choose not to and more whites choose so? Next thing I’ll hear is people like you pressuring the NBA and NFL to hire more Asian or Latino players and coaches.

“And offer them generous wages and employee discounts to discourage employee theft.”

Why should Black employees be offered more generous wages and discounts compared to non black employees? This is discrimination in itself and quite frankly if I was Black I would be offended someone implying African Americans need to have more “incentives” to not steal, lie, or cheat.

“most uppity white women would not want to be helped by a black sales assistant speaking in African American street vernacular.”

Wow. The basic assumption that a black person would speak in African American street vernacular is kind of racist, no? Black people can speak like “uppity white people” aka proper English.


Ali Khalid
Registered user
Midtown
on Jun 25, 2021 at 7:43 am
Ali Khalid, Midtown
Registered user
on Jun 25, 2021 at 7:43 am

CRT (Critical Race Theory) is indirectly related to these smash and grab thefts.

White societal discrimination and subjugation has ensured an unlevel economic playing field. And when various avenues to success and material wealth are closed off, people will often steal or resort to criminal activity.

Various gangs and mob organizations exist for this very reason and most of them consist of minority group members whose families and respective ethnicities have been deprived of pursuing the American Dream through conventional means.

In the early days, the mobs were founded by Irish, Jewish, and Italian immigrants.

And later gangs generally consisted of Hispanic, Hong Kong/Taiwanese, and Vietnamese immigrant youths.

Until everyone in America is afforded an equal opportunity for economic success, race-related and profiled criminal activity will not end.

This is the white man's burden.


TimR
Registered user
Downtown North
on Jun 25, 2021 at 7:56 am
TimR, Downtown North
Registered user
on Jun 25, 2021 at 7:56 am

So why didn't the PAPD, who are parked on Florence and University to guard the Apple store, get involved in the chase? Surely the security guard knows they're there and could have altered them. Or is guarding Apple their only job at that post?


Nayeli
Registered user
Midtown
on Jun 25, 2021 at 8:32 am
Nayeli, Midtown
Registered user
on Jun 25, 2021 at 8:32 am

As a non-white person, I absolutely HATE it when people blame white people for everyone else's problems. The attempt to look outward and blame others for CRIME is emblematic of the root cause of these crimes in the first place.

"Poverty?" I used to work with at-risk families in government-assisted housing. Most of those families and individuals had a better quality of life than I did at the time. Whereas I struggled as a graduate student to put gas in my vehicle, they were living the life.

In all likelihood, these are individuals seeking easy theft because the current policing of society is lower than it has been for quite some time. Palo Alto is an easy target because they assume that all of you living here have "privilege" that some should be able to tap into -- no matter what you think.

Racism cannot be an excuse.


Sam Willoughby
Registered user
Stanford
on Jun 25, 2021 at 8:59 am
Sam Willoughby, Stanford
Registered user
on Jun 25, 2021 at 8:59 am

"So why didn't the PAPD, who are parked on Florence and University to guard the Apple store, get involved in the chase?"

Was the PAPD alerted while the theft was in progress or afterwards?

In any event, the police were probably contacted at some point because they usually have to write a report.


"...these are individuals seeking easy theft because the current policing of society is lower than it has been for quite some time."

Theft as a profession is not an easy occupation because it is essentially a numbers game and eventually someone will get caught.

Perhaps the key is not to get too overconfident based on prior success and to quit while one is ahead in order to avoid potential/future arrest.

These are just ostentatious handbags and no major loss as they were probably insured against theft.

As long as no one was physically hurt during the heist is all that matters.



Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 25, 2021 at 9:28 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Jun 25, 2021 at 9:28 am

We can and will be debating racism and crime for a long time. Remember that old line from West Side Story: We're depraved on account of we're deprived.

The key questions now are where were the police and what are their priorities?

Scan the police blotter and you'll see they make quite a few arrests downtown, maybe 3/4 of their total. But what are their priorities and what types of crimes are they focusing on? Public urination, psychiatric holds, public drinking...

You rarely read of them arresting shoplifters, bike thieves, catalytic converter thieves, people setting off firecrackers nightly even though Shot Spotter helps them pinpoint locations, organized retail thieves driving vehicles through store windows/doors to more easily rob them...


NanaDi
Registered user
Midtown
on Jun 25, 2021 at 9:34 am
NanaDi, Midtown
Registered user
on Jun 25, 2021 at 9:34 am

Just popping up to say BRAVO to Nayeli for his thoughtful comments, which stand out as this thread seems to have opened up to people playing the Race Card to excuse and justify this CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR.


Real World Palo Alto
Registered user
Barron Park
on Jun 25, 2021 at 9:53 am
Real World Palo Alto , Barron Park
Registered user
on Jun 25, 2021 at 9:53 am

>> Scan the police blotter and you'll see they make quite a few arrests downtown, maybe 3/4 of their total. But what are their priorities and what types of crimes are they focusing on? Public urination, psychiatric holds, public drinking..."

+ The downtown PAPD patrols tend to focus more on homeless-related misdemeanors and citations because of merchant complaints and to provide an enjoyable downtown experience for shoppers and diners.

The more serious crimes such as theft and assault are generally followed-up upon after they have already taken place.

Crime prevention is apparently the responsibility of the hired security guards, most of whom are unarmed and ill-prepared to either confront or subdue a gang of thieves.

The police are just there to take reports and the only time they actually apprehend any suspects is by accident or pure luck.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2021 at 11:19 am
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jun 25, 2021 at 11:19 am

Nayeli always makes good points and well thought through arguments. I have always appreciated all comments - even those with which I disagreed. I agree that in this instance, Nayeli hit the nail on the head.

P.S. Bring back the like button.


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Jun 25, 2021 at 12:46 pm
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Jun 25, 2021 at 12:46 pm

A lot of the comments above are race baiting and class baiting. The wisest thing to do is not take the bait, but it's easier said than done, especially online.

These crimes have always taken place, but it will continue to get worse as California gets softer on crime, while criminals do this for a living. And too many people make excuses for them, and enable them all day long.


TimR
Registered user
Downtown North
on Jun 25, 2021 at 3:17 pm
TimR, Downtown North
Registered user
on Jun 25, 2021 at 3:17 pm

"The downtown PAPD patrols tend to focus more on homeless-related misdemeanors and citations because of merchant complaints and to provide an enjoyable downtown experience for shoppers and diners."

True, and they've started to do a good job again at all that (after a pandemic hiatus), which is very welcome. However, the manned cruiser (and sometimes it's two) they keep parked across from the Apple store is half a block away from the RealReal. Surely they could have responded.


eileen
Registered user
College Terrace
on Jun 25, 2021 at 7:48 pm
eileen , College Terrace
Registered user
on Jun 25, 2021 at 7:48 pm

Nayeli,
Thank you for your statement above. I agree 100% that people
who take someone else's stuff can't pull out the "privilege card" as
an excuse for robbery!


Cecilia Vegas
Registered user
Mountain View
on Jun 26, 2021 at 8:40 am
Cecilia Vegas, Mountain View
Registered user
on Jun 26, 2021 at 8:40 am

-- These crimes have always taken place, but it will continue to get worse as California gets softer on crime,

The prisons are already overcrowded and some inmates have been designated for early release.

Various diversion and rehab programs have replaced previously stricter longer term incarcerations for non-violent crimes.

If these thieves committed the thefts without the use of a weapon or injuring anyone, then perhaps they might qualify for probation and some form of anti-theft classes if they are eventually apprehended and convicted.

Why ruin one's life over a stupid Hermes or Louis Vuitton handbag?


Jeffrey Jones
Registered user
another community
on Jun 26, 2021 at 9:21 am
Jeffrey Jones, another community
Registered user
on Jun 26, 2021 at 9:21 am

> some form of anti-theft classes

Give a thief an expensive handbag to steal and they will most likely fence it.

Give a thief an anti-theft diploma or course completion certification and they will most likely become pillers of the community.


Baron Newberry
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jun 26, 2021 at 10:01 am
Baron Newberry, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jun 26, 2021 at 10:01 am

If various upwardly mobile consumers didn't place such a high priority on these superficial items of merchandise, chances are the thieves would opt out of stealing them.

The coveting of status symbols creates these crimes per se.


NanaDi
Registered user
Midtown
on Jun 26, 2021 at 10:32 am
NanaDi, Midtown
Registered user
on Jun 26, 2021 at 10:32 am

I am compelled to state my disagreement with your comment, Baron Newberry. I think that greed and the desire for an easy buck "creates these crimes per se", NOT "the coveting of status symbols". Why are we so loathe to assess responsibility where it actually lies? I fear that making excuses for these criminals only encourages them, and creates danger for all of us in the process.


TimR
Registered user
Downtown North
on Jun 26, 2021 at 12:25 pm
TimR, Downtown North
Registered user
on Jun 26, 2021 at 12:25 pm

Barry Newberry, same thing with catalytic converters. Thieves wouldn't steal them if cars weren't required to have them just because some people put such a high price on clean air. Most of the world gets by just fine without them, based on exploding populations in poorer countries with no emissions controls. Best to just roll back the regulations, and prevent the thefts!


Gerry Philbin
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 26, 2021 at 12:59 pm
Gerry Philbin, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jun 26, 2021 at 12:59 pm

> I think that greed and the desire for an easy buck "creates these crimes per se", NOT "the coveting of status symbols".

If there wasn't a healthy market for these designer label goods then the thieves wouldn't be stealing them.

The plastic people (aka fashionistas) and those who wish to put on superficial airs provide the market and they are just as accountable as the thieves themselves.

No one NEEDS an expensive flashy handbag...only the phonies.


Ismail Muhammad
Registered user
Midtown
on Jun 26, 2021 at 6:49 pm
Ismail Muhammad , Midtown
Registered user
on Jun 26, 2021 at 6:49 pm

As a Brown Muslim man who has experienced quite a bit of racism in America (a few instances from White veterans brainwashed by usa government and military but more actually from “people of color” sadly) I have to respectfully and seriously ask,

If these bandits and thieves were White or simply not African American, would there be so much of a discussion regarding this crime, especially coming from people who are trying to justify it in some sense and blame their criminalistic behavior on society, racism, and white Americans?

I understand that poverty and lack of opportunities can and is related to more crime... however I believe it is CULTURE. I have a few friends from Bangladesh... I have visited them in their native country and let me say so many of them live in absolute squalor and poverty. I couldn’t recount how many times I saw kids running around there barefoot because their families could not afford shoes on a consistent basis. Yet, based off my observation and speaking to the locals, the crime there pales in comparison to America, especially in certain cities in usa.

So my humble opinion is it’s culture. If “they” don’t fix that... no amount of social programs, handouts and crutches like affirmative action and complaining about oppression is going to uplift them as a whole.


eileen
Registered user
College Terrace
on Jun 26, 2021 at 9:59 pm
eileen , College Terrace
Registered user
on Jun 26, 2021 at 9:59 pm

Ismail, I have to agree with you! I have traveled to many countries with extreme poverty, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Mexico.
I feel safer in those countries than in the US. Some kids in the US have learned that stealing is no big deal. It's ingrained in their culture.


Melba Cotton
Registered user
Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jun 27, 2021 at 7:58 am
Melba Cotton, Leland Manor/Garland Drive
Registered user
on Jun 27, 2021 at 7:58 am

In terms of reduced crime in 3rd world countries and cultural differences aside...it depends on whether you are in an URBAN or RURAL section of that particular country.

I have spent time in the rainforests of Brazil and yes, the inhabitants in the jungles and small villages are not going to be ripping you off because they are more focused on basic survival.

On the other hand, go into Rio De Janeiro (an urban environment) and you run a far greater risk of getting robbed, assaulted, or even killed over an iPhone or Hermes handbag.

Native culture has little to do with materialistic theft. These robberies are urban-based where thieves and prospective buyers are well-acquainted and/or preoccupied with superficial status symbols.

Primitive hunter-gatherers and rural peasants could care less about these kinds of consumer items...like who are they going to impress with a designer handbag or a smartphone with no jungle coverage?

Exposure to modern-day life + the advertising of perceived status symbols, and endorsements from the likes of People/Vogue Magazines and social media have CORRUPTED 'culture' if anything and the thieves are simply catering to a contrived consumer 'need' and market.

The consumers buying these stolen and fenced goods should be tossed in jail as well for they too are the poison of society and CULTURE.


Larry Costa
Registered user
Charleston Meadows
on Jun 27, 2021 at 9:23 am
Larry Costa, Charleston Meadows
Registered user
on Jun 27, 2021 at 9:23 am

> "a contrived consumer 'need' and market."

^ Concurring. This is the primary reason why those expensive handbags were stolen...not only to provide illegal income for the thieves but to perpetuate an artificial sense of status among the aspiring elite and fashion conscious.

In the real world, no one cares about what brand one is wearing or sporting except insecure people.

And it's one of the reasons Stanford Shopping Center is a mecca for both conspicuous consumers and robbers.


eileen
Registered user
College Terrace
on Jun 27, 2021 at 9:42 am
eileen , College Terrace
Registered user
on Jun 27, 2021 at 9:42 am

Larry Costa, blaming the people who buy luxury goods is not going to stop the current string of thefts. Stealing is WRONG and condoning it is also very WRONG!

Palo Alto has had ice cream stores robbed. Maybe we should not sell sweets. Cars are broken into on a daily basis. Maybe we should stop buying expensive cars. People have expensive homes here. Maybe we should let them fall apart so they are not attractive to rob. The people on this thread that excuse robbers are just plain hypocrites and are unloading guilt about their own privilege.


Larry Costa
Registered user
Charleston Meadows
on Jun 27, 2021 at 9:58 am
Larry Costa, Charleston Meadows
Registered user
on Jun 27, 2021 at 9:58 am

@ eileen

On the other hand, you never hear of hemp handbags being stolen from The Country Sun via 'smash & grab' or flip flops being taken en masse from Walmart.

Nope...it's the upwardly mobile fashionistas whose tastes (and needs) for superficial attention that define what is going to be be stolen.

As for the ice cream stores, those are cash register robberies and the thieves are going for what is in the till. They are not stealing ice cream...even if it is the good stuff.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 27, 2021 at 12:57 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Jun 27, 2021 at 12:57 pm

Why are so many of you defending stealing and criminals? "Thou shalt not steal." What's so confusing about that?

"On the other hand, you never hear of hemp handbags being stolen from The Country Sun via 'smash & grab' or flip flops being taken en masse from Walmart."

Yes, you do. Organized gangs of retail thieves have stolen enough inexpensive stuff from Walgreen's and CVS stores in San Francisco that 17 Walgreen's and about 12 CVS stores have already closed. They've been filmed filling duffel bags and threatening security guards, cashiers and customers.

Here in Palo Alto, the thieves have driven vehicles through the doors of Maximart several times and the Walgreen's on Middlefield at least once. They're sure not stocking up Gucci gear or other pricey merchandise at those stores.

The criminals you're defending force stores to cloise, seniors on fixed incomes to travel to shop and fill their prescriptions filled. Car break-ins are up 853% this year. They're destroying neighborhoods and jobs and costing normal people money.


Justin Turley
Registered user
Barron Park
on Jun 27, 2021 at 2:01 pm
Justin Turley, Barron Park
Registered user
on Jun 27, 2021 at 2:01 pm

@Online Name

I'm not defending shoplifters and thieves but I imagine there's very little profit margin in smash and grab flip flops unless they bear the Loubouton label.

Petty theft is one thing. Stealing costly degigner goods is another.

If there wasn't a ready and willing market, the thieves would simply select other types of merchandise.

Stealing is wrong as per the Ten Commandments but the history of mankind has shown that this activity is not going away anytime soon.

Red soled designer flip flops?

If you manufacture them, someone will steal them but I feel more sorry for the menfolk who date or marry women who find such consumer items crucial to their outward presentation.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 27, 2021 at 3:35 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Jun 27, 2021 at 3:35 pm

@Justin Turley. it's not petty theft when you have enough people filling enough big bags with stolen merchandise in broad daylight to force the Walgreen's of the world to close.

It's a blatant as stealing designer merchandise. In fact, the thieves reselling the Walgreen's merchandise probably don't have to discount their prices as much as for a stolen $1,000 handbag because they've got a bigger market.

"If you manufacture them, someone will steal them but I feel more sorry for the menfolk who date or marry women who find such consumer items crucial to their outward presentation."

Your sexisn is showing. I feel sorry for the women watching the guys flaunting their Ferrari's and their laughably huge $50K-$100K watches and think buying a $2,500 handbag makes up for the huge pay discrepancy.


Homeless And Satisfied In PA
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2021 at 3:40 pm
Homeless And Satisfied In PA, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jun 27, 2021 at 3:40 pm

Materialism is a preoccupation of the upwardly mobile.

Try being homeless and see for yourself how necessary a designer handbag is.

Sometimes it is better to have nothing of significance other than your soul.

Most Palo Altans cannot comprehend this simple observation because they are too busy keeping up with the Joneses.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 27, 2021 at 6:04 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Jun 27, 2021 at 6:04 pm

No Homeless - most people in PA are busy going to work - even if it is work in their own home. Add to that helping their children who are not at School.

Why are you here if you are putting down the people who live here?

We live here and we work here. Our children go to school here - even if school is in in the home.

Get a job. Go to work. Get real. Sitting around saying how happy you are that you
can live off hand outs and state funded money is not selling any great POV.


Willow Pahne
Registered user
College Terrace
on Jun 27, 2021 at 7:24 pm
Willow Pahne, College Terrace
Registered user
on Jun 27, 2021 at 7:24 pm
Simon Platte
Registered user
Charleston Meadows
on Jun 28, 2021 at 9:30 am
Simon Platte, Charleston Meadows
Registered user
on Jun 28, 2021 at 9:30 am

I would imagine that displaying a costly designer handbag either on one's person or in a store display is a potential prelude to theft.

Given the choice, I would rather carry lots of money in a cheap nondescript handbag than an overpriced luxury handbag filled with maxed-out credit cards.


Lauren Costanza
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Jun 29, 2021 at 8:49 am
Lauren Costanza, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Jun 29, 2021 at 8:49 am

Curious...why are some of these designer handbags so huge that they need to be carried upon the shoulder?

Just how much stuff does a modern day fashionista need to be carrying around?

A display case full of cosmetics, an iPad, some paperback novels, a concealed weapon or pepper spray, and perhaps an oversized and fashionable designer billfold loaded with even more credit cards?


Orville Bentley
Registered user
College Terrace
on Jun 29, 2021 at 1:34 pm
Orville Bentley, College Terrace
Registered user
on Jun 29, 2021 at 1:34 pm

All of the above along with a Hermes or Louis Vuitton label proudly displayed for others to see.

Very grateful that I married a woman who does not place her priorities on such inane frivolities.


The Moral Compass
Registered user
Downtown North
on Jun 29, 2021 at 2:59 pm
The Moral Compass, Downtown North
Registered user
on Jun 29, 2021 at 2:59 pm

To some people it is important to flaunt these luxury items because they lack other more meaningful qualities.

That said, stealing these luxury items is wrong and only serves to reinforce plastic mentalities and souls.


Dana Clarkson
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jun 30, 2021 at 7:21 am
Dana Clarkson, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jun 30, 2021 at 7:21 am

Flaunting an overpriced, oversized, designer label handbag shows the world that one is tasteful and exclusive.

Like who cares?


Peter Christian
Registered user
Community Center
on Jun 30, 2021 at 9:03 am
Peter Christian, Community Center
Registered user
on Jun 30, 2021 at 9:03 am

Humble and down to earth people do not partake in owning or coveting such ostentatious merchandise.

Most have better things to do with their energy and monetary resources.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 30, 2021 at 9:08 am
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jun 30, 2021 at 9:08 am

It is irrelevant if it is handbags, diamonds, or silicon chips. Theft, crime, stealing is wrong.


J. Goldberg
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 30, 2021 at 5:34 pm
J. Goldberg, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Jun 30, 2021 at 5:34 pm

> Theft, crime, stealing is wrong.

This observation & perspective is relatively easy to comprehend BUT keep in mind that ALL of the great fortunes and empires in the world were founded on theft, stealing, and other high crimes including racism.

The handbag thefts at Stanford Shopping Center are small potato's when one looks at the BIG PICTURE.

Try to view things beyond some stolen Hermes handbags and perhaps you will see the difference between micro-thefts and macro-thefts (i.e. Rockefeller, Carnegie, Stanford, Huntington, Crocker, Bernie Madoff, Bill Gates etc.).

Big business is the biggest culprit...seriously.


Buford Layne
Registered user
Barron Park
on Jul 1, 2021 at 7:49 am
Buford Layne, Barron Park
Registered user
on Jul 1, 2021 at 7:49 am

These repeated thefts and descriptions of the suspects might justify racial profiling in certain retail environments and this is unfortunate because there are many fine black people who also abhor this kind of criminal activity and it makes their race look bad in the eyes of the general public.

A group of young African Americans walking into a store wearing hoodies pulled-over their heads and browsing merchandise should not be a cause for consternation but unfortunately it has.

Better security including buzzer entry and locking handbags down with thicker steel cables should avert many of these crimes.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 1, 2021 at 8:49 am
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jul 1, 2021 at 8:49 am

Stealing is still wrong. Anyone trying to put the blame on anyone other than the thieves shows how sad our society has become.

Orwellian attitudes are becoming a reality. That is truly scary.


Ben Stallworth
Registered user
East Palo Alto
on Jul 1, 2021 at 9:34 am
Ben Stallworth, East Palo Alto
Registered user
on Jul 1, 2021 at 9:34 am

As a former black Marine sargeant and current parent, if one of my kids were ever involved in something like this I would confine them to quarters after making them return the goods.

And if they had to spend some time in juvenile hall or county jail, so be it.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 6, 2021 at 4:20 pm
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jul 6, 2021 at 4:20 pm

Same group moved to do the same at Neiman Marcus in San Francisco!


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 6, 2021 at 5:21 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Jul 6, 2021 at 5:21 pm

Here's one of the news reports/videos of the Neiman heist showing 9 thieves but there's lots more coverage of it. Web Link


Phyliss Johnston
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jul 7, 2021 at 8:28 am
Phyliss Johnston, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jul 7, 2021 at 8:28 am

> Same group moved to do the same at Neiman Marcus in San Francisco!

How can you be sure that these purse thefts were perpetrated by the same gang?

Is it because the suspects bear a generalized resemblance to the thieves at Stanford Shopping Center?


Eunice Peters
Registered user
Community Center
on Jul 7, 2021 at 9:04 am
Eunice Peters, Community Center
Registered user
on Jul 7, 2021 at 9:04 am

They seemed to be in a hurry to exit the store.

Was there a car in the immediate vicinity waiting for them?

Parking in SF can be hard to find at times and I am wondering if the getaway driver (if any) was double-parked.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2021 at 10:18 am
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jul 7, 2021 at 10:18 am

Of course there is no way that I can personally state they were the exact same individuals.

I can however surmise that it was the same type of mentality stealing the same type of merchandise in the same type of manner.

Crime is wrong and every time theft is committed there is a strong tendency for those who get away with it to repeat the same theft in similar manner in another location. So either it is a copycat crime or repeat individuals.

As long as they all get caught and punished, I will be content.


Ira Weisman
Registered user
Stanford
on Jul 7, 2021 at 10:25 am
Ira Weisman, Stanford
Registered user
on Jul 7, 2021 at 10:25 am

>>every time theft is committed there is a strong tendency for those who get away with it to repeat the same theft in similar manner in another location.

Until they get caught...which is the sole responsibility of law enforcement.

Then again, Dick Tracy and Kojak are only fictional characters who bear absolutely no resemblance to real-world detectives and police officers trained to do a specific job...which is to apprehend criminals IN THE ACT of committing a crime rather than just writing reports.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 7, 2021 at 12:01 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Jul 7, 2021 at 12:01 pm

So now there is a news clip hat a store in Union Square in SF had the same thing happen. This is a GANG.


Rennie Winters
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 9, 2021 at 7:46 am
Rennie Winters, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Jul 9, 2021 at 7:46 am

> If various upwardly mobile consumers didn't place such a high priority on these superficial items of merchandise, chances are the thieves would opt out of stealing them.

Upwardly mobile as in a yuppie or Kardashian mentality?

Back in Lubbock, TX we don't have those types and people don't go around stealing $1500.00 pairs of Luchessi cowboy boots just to look cool as fake cowboys are generally scorned and looked down upon.

Things are different here in the bay area.
Everyone is so fashion conscious even when it comes to casual outdoor wear like Patagonia and North Face.

So stealing Hermes handbags and Loubouton stilettos should come as no surprise given the superficiality of various fashion conscious mindsets.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 9, 2021 at 7:58 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Jul 9, 2021 at 7:58 am

People have spent a year in their sweats. Fashion Conscience? Half the people cannot fit into the clothes in their closet. People are not rushing into stores to buy high-end clothes right now. Most people have other things to think about than high end clothes. Like putting a daily life back together. I think they sre shipping this stuff off to some place where people vaca to buy stuff. People from Japan go to Hawaii with empty luggage so they can buy high end in the stores there and take it home.


Pat McPheeters
Registered user
Charleston Meadows
on Jul 9, 2021 at 10:08 am
Pat McPheeters, Charleston Meadows
Registered user
on Jul 9, 2021 at 10:08 am

> This is a GANG.

Most likely so and headed by a ringleader who fences the stolen goods off to various interested parties.

> Half the people cannot fit into the clothes in their closet.

And why is that? Is this attributable to poor eating habits and lack of exercise during the pandemic-related closures?

We actually lost weight because we ate less due to many of the restaurants being closed while our metabolism remained about the same.

Maybe the key to effective weight loss is by not spending any unnecessary effort and added expenditures by dining out.

Our older clothes now fit great!


J. Preston
Registered user
Los Altos Hills
on Jul 9, 2021 at 1:53 pm
J. Preston, Los Altos Hills
Registered user
on Jul 9, 2021 at 1:53 pm

When it comes to designer handbags, fashion insiders know there are three reference points costwise.

For example...a designer handbag that retails for $975.00 actually costs about $80.00 to make and the 'honest retail' price is $200.00.

But the stores don't run with that particular price point. Instead they overcharge to silly fashion-concious consumers who don't know any better.

So in regards to the recent thefts...Call it 'Honor among thieves'?


Marion Harvey
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 9, 2021 at 3:10 pm
Marion Harvey, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Jul 9, 2021 at 3:10 pm

You have to pay to play in the high world of fashion and expensive (aka grossly overpriced) designer handbags are no exception.

For some people it gives meaning to their temporal existence and sense of self-worth.


Betsy Grimes
Registered user
College Terrace
on Jul 10, 2021 at 9:02 am
Betsy Grimes, College Terrace
Registered user
on Jul 10, 2021 at 9:02 am

All I carry on my person is an iPhone, CA driver's license, and a bank ATM/debit card for shopping.

I cannot fathom why some women feel the need to carry around a designer saddle bag.


Preston Layne
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jul 11, 2021 at 7:39 am
Preston Layne, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jul 11, 2021 at 7:39 am

- I cannot fathom why some women feel the need to carry around a designer saddle bag.

Two possible reasons...they are either show-offs, clutterbugs or both.

My wife is a clutterbug and though she does not carry an LV or Hermes handbag,
we have separate bathrooms at home.

Hers is filled with all kinds of stuff while the one I use just has a razor blade, toothpaste/toothbrush, Advil, a box of Band-Aids + a bar of soap and a couple of towels.


Judy Hoag
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Jul 11, 2021 at 9:13 am
Judy Hoag, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Jul 11, 2021 at 9:13 am

"I cannot fathom why some women feel the need to carry around a designer saddle bag."

∆ Insecurity and a validation of self-worth?


Loretta
Registered user
another community
on Jul 11, 2021 at 10:22 am
Loretta, another community
Registered user
on Jul 11, 2021 at 10:22 am

Being a vegan and someone who also refrains from the wearing and use of all leather goods, it would be far more eco-friendly if Hermes and Louis Vuiton switched to designer label hemp handbags and purses.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 11, 2021 at 10:50 am
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jul 11, 2021 at 10:50 am

@Betsy Grimes has obviously never commuted by public transport to work each day.

Things that are necessary include umbrella, toothbrush and toothpaste, spare shirt in case of spill or splash, sweater, and women tell me they have spare pantyhose and feminine hygiene/underwear. Reading materials are necessary for the commute and if remaining out for the evening additional items may be required.

I am sure that the list is longer, but these are just from the top of my head.


Madison Winters
Registered user
Mountain View
on Jul 11, 2021 at 11:59 am
Madison Winters, Mountain View
Registered user
on Jul 11, 2021 at 11:59 am

@Bystander

If upscale professional women in SF need a Hermes or LV handbag just to lug all that stuff around while on the train or a SF Muni Bus, who are they trying to impress?

Just go to REI and get a backpack.


Jason Brown
Registered user
Barron Park
on Jul 11, 2021 at 3:51 pm
Jason Brown, Barron Park
Registered user
on Jul 11, 2021 at 3:51 pm

"I am sure that the list is longer, but these are just from the top of my head."

@Bystander/a resident of Another Palo Alto

Yes...let's not forget a spare pair of Loubouton stilettos or walking shoes, a Macy's counter full of back-up cosmetics, a cellphone charger, a Kindle reader + a current copy of Vogue or Elle, some chocolate candy, tooth whitening strips, touch-up nail polish, and what not.

Why not just rent a pack mule with a Hermes or LV logo branded on its a**?

No pun intended.


Loren Pfister
Registered user
another community
on Jul 12, 2021 at 9:30 am
Loren Pfister, another community
Registered user
on Jul 12, 2021 at 9:30 am

"Why not just rent a pack mule with a Hermes or LV logo branded on its a**?"

Designer label inspired SUVs and luxury cars are probably next as history and fashion statements always repeat themselves in one way or another.

Remember the 'Eddie Baur' Ford Broncos, Explorers, and Expeditions of the 1990s?

Thirty years removed we may begin seeing LV/Hermes designed interiors and outer treatments on various high-end cars and SUVs.

Fashion-saavy women will buy them...no question.


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