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$62K of Furs Stolen from Manhattan Store Over 3 Months, Owner Says

By John Santore | February 10, 2016 10:50am
Fur robbery security footage
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MIDTOWN — A high-end Manhattan fur store rip-off team was caught on camera Friday stealing a $50,000 coat from a shop that had been hit before months earlier.

The Fur Source of NY, which operates a pop-up store five months a year on 57th Street between 6th Avenue and 7th Avenue, was robbed on Oct. 23, according to the NYPD. A chinchilla coat worth $12,000 was taken.

But store owner Pauline Pollatos said Tuesday that two more thieves made away with a $50,000 black and white chinchilla coat just last Friday.

"It’s huge for me because I’m a small company,” Pollatos said, noting that she inherited the business three years ago from her father.

“It’s really sad that people wake up thinking about stealing from businesses like us."

 This man and woman worked together to steal a $50,000 chinchilla coat from The Fur Source of NY on Friday, Feb. 5.
This man and woman worked together to steal a $50,000 chinchilla coat from The Fur Source of NY on Friday, Feb. 5.
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In both instances, a man and woman worked in tandem, Pollatos said.

Friday's theft was captured by the store's security cameras. In footage Pollatos provided to DNAinfo New York, the man is seen moving his target from one coat rack to another that was partially obscured by a pillar.

While his accomplice distracted a saleswoman by trying on a $70,000 sable coat, the man waited for a security guard to walk away before quickly shoving the luxurious fur up the back of his jacket.

After the heist, the pair calmly chatted in the store before leaving.

The store’s furs don’t have electronic tags that would damage them, Pollatos explained. But because the showroom displays about $3 million in goods, the store hires retired police officers to guard it.

At the time of the robbery, one of the two guards on duty had gone downstairs to bring mannequins back to the showroom, according to Pollatos’ father, Pete Minakakis, who was also working Friday.

“This guy was left alone for 10 more seconds than he should have been,” Pollatos said of the robber. “It really was crappy timing.”

She described the woman as 5-foot-5, in her mid 30s and thin with distinctive, almond-shaped eyes. The man was also thin, in his mid 30s, had a prominent nose, and stood about 5-foot-10.

Both spoke with Eastern European accents, she said, though their voices could have been faked. 

Police told her Friday's security footage likely provides an accurate portrayal of the thieves, who probably weren't wearing disguises, Pollatos said.

On Tuesday, the NYPD released information about six thefts of furs and animal skins that took place in Manhattan between October and December, including security footage of the man and woman who robbed The Fur Source of NY on Oct. 23.

Pollatos said she thinks the robbers will try to sell the stolen goods, possibly to high-end clients.

Minakakis and Pollatos said they’ve been operating on W. 57th Street for four years and haven’t had a problem until now.