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Burglars target high-end Westside boutiques

Burglars have stolen tens of thousands of dollars' worth of merchandise from high-end stores on L.A.'s Westside.
November 7, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
There's been a rash of burglaries aimed at high-end stores on L.A.'s Westside. Tens of thousands of dollars' worth of merchandise has been stolen.

Two men were caught on surveillance camera pulling up to the back of Elisabeth Weinstock's luxury boutique and pillaging $25,000 worth of handbags.

"It was devastating to watch the footage," said Weinstock. "It was devastating to come in, see the aftermath and know that somebody had broken in. I had just opened not long before. It was gross. It was a terrible feeling."

You can then see them throw the exotic animal-skin bags into the trunk and take off.

Weinstock says it's clear one of the suspects is also in a still photo taken from a surveillance camera down the street at her friend Stacey Todd's boutique.

"You feel completely violated. It's scary. You think you're in a really safe area, and it's scary," said Joanna Anavim, a Stacey Todd Boutique employee.

Police say there's a good possibility that the same person or people are responsible for these burglaries, as well as recent break-ins at Yves Saint Laurent, Phillip Lim and others in the area.

"They definitely seem to know what they're doing," said LAPD Detective Brent Hopkins. "They come in, they're very focused, they're in and out very quickly."

Hopkins says if you're a business owner, there are things you can do to be vigilant and to keep as secure as possible.

"Keep your lights on, have good visible security, whether it's security gates, security cameras are tremendously helpful to us," said Hopkins.

Meantime, Weinstock says she already bought back one of her stolen handbags on eBay, and she thinks it's just a matter of time before the culprits get caught.

"Getting a job is probably a better way to go," said Weinstock.