It’s been a big week for luxury theft in the news. First, a woman in England was found guilty of stealing nearly 1,000 designer handbags, one by one, over a period of three years. If that weren’t enough, yesterday came word that an entire Hermes collection had been stolen off the back of a truck in Milan, forcing the cancellation of an Hermes press preview that had been scheduled. It seems as though, when it comes to luxury goods, fingers the world over just keep getting stickier and stickier.
Italian authorities have arrested a 47-year-old Milanese man whose name has yet to be released for the theft of the Hermes collection, and handbag lovers will be happy to know that the half a million dollars worth of leather goods, accessories and clothing was recovered intact. According to Business of Fashion, the collection was lifted when the drivers of the truck left it unattended to take a lunch break. BOF also notes that this is the second large-scale luxury theft in the area in six months; previously, thieves used petrol bombs to create confusion while they made off with a haul of Frank Muller luxury watches.
Anecdotally, at least, it seems as though these incidents occur with increasing frequency as of late. Over the summer, Cannes experienced two separate jewelry heists, the first valued at over $50 million and the second valued at a whopping $136 million. Also this summer, a former Tiffany exec plead guilty to stealing more than $2 million worth of jewelry from the company. In an incident perhaps closest to this new Hermes fiasco, Marc Jacobs had his entire Spring 2012 collection swiped in transport from Paris to London, also on its way to a press preview in late 2011. And those are just the highly publicized instances that I could think of off the top of my head; in all likelihood, that’s just scratching the surface, especially in the luxury-filled sections of Europe’s fashion capitals.
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