Armed thieves were seen on video pilfering a Chanel store in SoHo in broad daylight, raiding the shop and making off with about $160,000 in luxury items as stunned shoppers looked on.
The four men busted into the store at the corner of Spring Street and Wooster Street in Manhattan just before 2 p.m. Tuesday, police said. Video recorded by a woman inside the store shows them moving about the store, grabbing designer bags and goods by the armful while two others hold the doors open.
At one point, a security guard inside told one of the robbers that she was armed. The man responded, "What are you going to do? Shoot me?" and showed her the butt of his own gun.
Police confirmed that the suspects are responsible for a pattern of robberies — 20 in total, including a COS store next door — taking place from SoHo to midtown over the past couple of months. NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison said the robbery spree began during the widespread looting that took place over the summer.
"They go in, snatching things off of shelves, and speed off," Harrison said in a call with reporters Thursday. He said that the suspects sell the stolen goods on social media.
Police have struggled to apprehend the suspects due to difficulties that have arisen as a result of COVID — for example, wearing face masks has made it hard to identify suspects.
In Tuesday's incident, the robbers also took off in an Audi sedan with no license plates, making it difficult to see where it might have gone after the heist. Detectives said that the getaway cars the suspects have frequently used are rental cares, often with fake license plates.
The complaint filed with police said the suspects took about $160,000 worth of goods. An investigation is ongoing.