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Coveted, high-priced handbags stolen from Hermes store in Galleria area

by staff & Larry Seward / KHOU 11 News

Posted on December 9, 2011 at 11:12 AM

Updated Friday, Dec 9 at 6:11 PM

HOUSTON—Thieves got away with several high-priced items, including handbags coveted by fashionistas around the world, after a break-in at a luxury store in the Galleria area Wednesday.

The burglary happened at Hermes of Paris, located in the 1800 block of Post Oak Blvd at San Felipe, around 3 a.m.

Surveillance cameras show a car parking in the empty lot around 3 a.m. Wednesday. Seconds later, an SUV follows. Then nearly a dozen burglars went to work.

"When you see a burglary, it’s typical of a throw-a-rock-through-a-window, go through, run, pull out and it’s one or two guys," said Taryn Sims, president of Wulfe Management Services, which owns the shopping center. "I’ve never seen it to be this many."

The suspects wore hoodies and covered their faces. They used crowbars and clubs to get into the store.

"You can see them swinging, trying to break-in the glass," said Sims.

During the three minutes it took them to break the glass, they ignored a security guard who was yelling at them and threatening to call the police. They also didn’t seem bothered by the traffic passing by.

It took the brazen burglars about 90 seconds to load up with high-end bags and jewelry and run out of the store. The purses were priced around $7,000 each and the watches were valued up to as much as $50,000 apiece.

"I think it was a very well-thought out plan," said Sims.


They didn't get everything they wanted though. Surveillance video showed them try unsuccessfully to open a safe, which housed the diamond-encrusted Birkin bags. The bags cost an estimated $8,000. A red alligator version was auctioned for over $200,000 in Dallas recently.

After several failed attempts, police said the thieves damaged the store and fled.

The security guard tried to follow the suspects in his golf cart, but their license plate was covered so he didn’t get a tag number.

The property owner is hoping the surveillance video will lead to clues that help police track down these thieves.

The thieves did not get everything they were looking for, however.

The store is now closed for repairs.