Purses worth thousands stolen from Magnificent Mile boutique, source says

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Two young men stole several purses Wednesday morning from a Chanel store on Chicago's Magnificent Mile, just days after a police alert about thieves targeting stores selling expensive purses.

At about 10:30 a.m., two men in their late teens or early 20s entered the boutique in the 900-block of North Michigan Avenue in the Gold Coast neighborhood. The store was only open for 30 minutes when the robbery occurred.

In seconds, the thieves stole several bags that were on display near the front door, police said. The purses could be worth at least $15,000, a source said.

The suspects got away in a white minivan, police said. No one is in custody. Police are investigating.

The robbery comes two days after Chicago police issued a community alert about thieves targeting stores that sell high-end purses.

Thieves have hit four stores in the past two months near the Mag Mile. Robberies were reported in the first block of East Grand during the afternoon hours on June 27 and July 31 and in the 100 block of East Oak Street during the afternoon on June 30 and July 20, according to police.

The thieves usually work in a group of 2 to 4 people, police said.

The robberies have stumped local residents.

"I just don't understand where these people get the gumption to do what they are doing," said Lori Swerdlow, who lives nearby.

"I think something needs to be done with the security of the merchandise because it is ridiculous that somebody can go into where ever and grab 15 bags and run out and get in the car," said shopper Margaret Brice.

Some of the thieves get away with - in some cases - tens of thousands of dollars worth of purses.

"I don't know what they do with them but you can rest assured that somebody will buy them because if someone stole them, it is total profit for them," Brice said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Area Central detectives at (312) 747-8382.
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