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Fur Thefts In Colorado Could Be Linked To New York City

VAIL, Colo. (CBS4)- Fur coat thefts in Colorado could be linked to similar crimes in New York City. The thieves were captured on surveillance brazenly taking the coats.

Two suspected thieves were captured on surveillance video stealing furs and other pricey merchandise in Aspen, Vail and Denver this week.

"At the end of the rack they would place the goods that he would shove under his coat," said Max co-owner Scott Seale.

Seale is the co-owner of Max, a high-end clothing store. He lost $20,000 in merchandise. The video of the shoplifters shows a similar pattern to that of another store in New York.

(credit: CBS)

One detective is confident they are the same suspects.

"I would say 95, 99 percent that the gentleman with the puffy jacket and even down to the grey scarf he has on, is the exact same person that stole the fur in Vail," said Aspen Police Department spokesman Jeff Fain.

On Tuesday, police in Aspen tracked the couple to a hotel in Vail.

"The women all hold their bags like this, on the elbow," demonstrated Seale.

"The couple invited us, invited the Vail police right in, said, 'Sure, go ahead, take a look around,' were totally unassuming, weren't interested in seeing the warrant, basically were not worried and we did not locate any furs in their room," said Fain.

With the lack of evidence, police could not make any arrests, leaving some shop owners concerned about future thefts.

"These are not small-time shoplifters. We believe they have the goods stashed away or they've shipped them out already," said Seale.

Police believe these crimes have been going on for the past year. The store owners targeted in New York believe the suspects are from Russia or Eastern Europe.

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