Thieves robbed a Chicago-area Louis Vuitton store on Wednesday and took at least $ 120,000 in merchandise, police said.
It is the latest in a series of Louis Vuitton store robberies in suburban Chicago in recent months.
Police said at least 14 masked men rushed into the luxury store at the Oak Brook Mall in the Oak Brook, Illinois suburb of approximately 16 miles west of Chicago.
“When they entered the store, they took the garbage bags out of their coats and started to fill them with merchandise,” Oak Brook Police Chief James Kruger said.
Surveillance footage captured the incident as it unfolded and shows thieves doing quick work in the store.
The men then reportedly fled in three separate cars, at least one of which was reportedly stolen. This stolen vehicle was located by law enforcement, but the merchandise cannot be found.
Oak Brook Police said they were taking the advice of witnesses and trying to locate license plates in an attempt to locate thieves. They’ve also formed a task force with the Illinois attorney general’s office to try to put a stop to these types of incidents.
Those in the vicinity of the store at the time of the theft were reportedly stunned by the brazen nature of the crime.
“You don’t expect that sort of thing to happen outside of town too,” witness Jasmine Tsang told WLS-TV. “I actually moved out of town just recently. I thought I escaped it all.”
While Louis Vuitton stores are generally monitored by security, this is the third time in just two months that the luxury retailer has seen one of its Chicago-area stores broken into.
The company’s Northbrook Court outlet in Northbrook, Illinois, 25 miles north of Chicago, has been broken into twice, with thieves committing their crimes similar to the Oak Brook burglary.
The first theft took place on October 7, when “several purses and luggage” valued at $ 66,000 were stolen from the store. Then, on November 2, thieves were able to steal twice as much from one location, seizing $ 150,000 in stolen goods.
In both of these cases, the thieves can be seen on camera entering and exiting within seconds, and Northbrook Police said they then escaped in several vehicles as well.
The police have not confirmed whether these thefts were linked or perpetrated by the same crew.
However, Northbrook Court acknowledged that thieves had hit high-end brands hard recently, and said in a statement that “this is an ongoing issue facing luxury brands in the Chicagoland area which goes beyond Northbrook Court. We are deeply disheartened by one of our tenants. was the target of this crime. “
Since its founding in 1854, Louis Vuitton has grown into one of the most iconic luxury retailers and at one point was the world’s most valuable luxury brand for six consecutive years.
Louis Vuitton’s parent company, LVMH, also manages many other luxury brands such as Dior, Givenchy and Hublot. LVHM chairman Bernard Arnault is the third richest person in the world, with a reported net worth of $ 201 billion.
News week contacted Louis Vuitton for comment.