Two men fled with thousands of dollars in stolen merchandise from the Barneys Co-Op store in SoHo Tuesday afternoon, a law enforcement official said.
The thieves walked into the store on Wooster Street at about 1:30 p.m., and one suspect distracted a worker while the other stuffed clothing and handbags into bags they had with them, police said. The two then ran out the door.
At least six bags stuffed with merchandise were taken, the official said.
Customers were being turned away from the store as police investigated.
"It's a little unsettling," said Kelly Robinson, one of the shoppers told not to enter. "They must be intense if they're doing it in the middle of the day. It's kind of upsetting for other shops to think about."
Police are investigating whether the incident is connected to a pattern of similar thefts in the busy shopping area. David Michael Maine, a boutique employee near Wooster and Prince streets, says thefts have become especially problematic recently.
"A lot of stores in the neighborhood, including my store, have been affected by theft in the last few weeks," he said.
No arrests have been made.