Recent reports of robberies in the ritzy Union Square shopping district have left me intrigued. For example, Chanel on tony Maiden Lane reported the loss of a 40 thousand dollar bag! The police say a group of girls called the Rainbow Girls (no relation to another group) are responsible for that and many other such “daring” episodes at other purveyors of luxury good in the area like Sak’s, Macy’s and Nieman Marcus.
I cannot believe this – Someone who steals this kind of stuff isn’t doing it for themselves. And you don’t sit on the corner of Canal Road in NYC and hope to get more than 20 dollars for a bag – any bag. They are not doing it for a lark either because the risk of getting caught is too big.
So what is going on? If they wanted to, the police could easily catch these people.
I say this from experience. I used to have a store on Maiden Lane and I know for a fact that the Chanel store is crawling with huge. hefty, mean-looking security guards who wouldn’t hesitate to grab a girl, rainbow or otherwise by the neck and haul her into jail. The holiday season used to be bad for us too. Mine used to be a small store with items that could easily fold into a bag. We had security cameras and they showed clearly an older woman lifting an item off a hangar as if to inspect then stuffing it into her capacious handbag. We showed the footage to the police, printed a face shot and mailed it as they asked. It was not worth it to pursue they said. But our products were for personal use and I can see people giving themselves a Christmas bonus.
Not so in this case. The only way to hawk a stolen 40 thousand dollar handbag is to already have located a buyer. That is the only thing that would make it worth the risk – the ability to get at least half the price. So whether it is an inside job where the guards look the other way, or it is a professional thief paid for their services it is a case of the rich taking care of the rich.
Chanel gets a write-off, a saleswoman gets a bonus, a society woman parades a handbag on her arm in place of a beau and all is happy. No harm done. No life lost.
Or is that so? A thief is talked about and not caught. Young girls are positioned as avaricious nitwits. The police come off as incompetent and we are not enraged.