Saturday, July 25, 2015

Purloined Sunglasses

Crime in my suburb is pretty humdrum, usually opportunistic property snatches.  
This summer, our newspaper reports, unlocked cars sitting in driveways have been attractive targets.  

In recent weeks, many cars have been burgled late at night. Since most of what people leave in their cars are canvas grocery bags and sunglasses, the sunglasses have been swiped.  Perhaps the crooks expected to find cash or car keys (newer vehicles cannot be hot-wired as easily as older models could) and were content to make off with used sunglasses.  Seems like a lot of risk for not much reward.

Now at least one thief has adopted a different business model, grabbing sunglasses at the local mall.  

The mall has a number of stores of designer merchandise.  I don't visit these shops as a rule, but lately they have been showing up in our weekly newspaper's much-read crime roundup.    

Crooks seem drawn to these boutiques, which have high-end items at very high prices.  I have read that shoplifters visit these stores carrying foil-lined shopping bags or wearing outfits with multiple pockets.

Last week, a man visited the Giorgio Armani store and walked out with five pairs of sunglasses without paying for them.  I don't know why the store employees did not chase the man; possibly they all were wearing four-inch heels, which are not good running shoes in most cases.  

I looked online just now for some examples of this season's Armani sunglasses. Above are a couple pairs priced at $430 each.  They look perfectly nice, but if I saw someone wearing a pair on the street, I wouldn't recognize it as Armani.  I certainly wouldn't say to myself, wow, look at those expensive shades.  But that could say more about me than anything else.

Perhaps the man who boosted the sunglasses wanted several pairs to coordinate with his summer wardrobe.  More likely, I'm guessing, he knows someone who operates a black market for designer sunglasses, purses, sweaters and the like.  Or maybe he operates his own Ebay site and needs a steady supply of new products -- authentic, if stolen -- to sell. 

With prices like that, I would expect store operators to keep merchandise under lock and key, bringing samples out one at a time for customers to try.  Maybe the store managers, like the people who park unlocked cars outside at night, could learn a lesson here. 

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