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Jimmy Choo Burglary Rattles Gold Coast Workers

By Lizzie Schiffman Tufano | December 6, 2012 11:41am | Updated on December 6, 2012 12:47pm

GOLD COAST — Burglars pried open the door of a high-end designer Gold Coast store and grabbed armloads of merchandise early Thursday morning, emptying two display cases holding purses priced well above $1,000.

The untouched shelf below the ones shattered by three men Thursday were showcasing Jimmy Choo's "Solar L" calf leather handbag, which sells for $1,395 online.

Assistant Manager Roger Price said he was summoned to the Jimmy Choo store at 65 E. Oak St. around 2 a.m., when "corporate" called him and manager Lynne Henry to report that there had been a burglary at their shop.

"There was a lot to clean up," Price said Thursday morning. By that time, shards of glass from smashed display shelves had been swept from the floor, and merchandise Price found scattered around the store was stacked on chairs to be inventoried.

"We look pretty good, all things considered, right?" Price asked. The store hoped to reopen later Thursday.

Damage to the storefront itself was more costly for the company than the stolen merchandise, said Steven Speaks, vice President of Finance and Operations at Jimmy Choo USA. He described the burglary as "a very quick, snatch-and-grab break-in. They grabbed a few items, nothing huge," Speaks said.

In all, a several display cases were badly damaged, and "a couple handbags were taken," Speaks said. High-end shoes, a cornerstone of the Jimmy Choo brand often priced in the thousands of dollars, also may have been taken, Speaks said.

"It's one of those things that happen, and you just have to deal with it," Speaks said. "The most important thing is that no one was hurt."

A repair crew was on site Thursday morning replacing the door police say was forced open by three male suspects who fled in a four-door vehicle with the stolen goods.

Richelle Ciluffo, who owns The Spa on Oak above Jimmy Choo, said she was surprised when she received a notification about the burglary this morning from the Oak Street Council, which she said provides extra security to storefronts in the hot Gold Coast retail district.

"It's kind of scary for us, especially at this time of year, when we're all stocked up with merchandise and everybody's busy," Ciluffo said. "What can I say, desperate people will do desperate things."

Speaks said a police report has been filed and the store has surveillance footage they will hand over to investigators.