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Large Group of Suspects Steals $150,000 in Handbags from Palo Alto Neiman Marcus

PALO ALTO (CBS SF) -- Police in Palo Alto said a coordinated group of at least ten suspects stole more than $150,000 in handbags from the Neiman Marcus store at Stanford Shopping Center Wednesday afternoon.

On Wednesday at about 12:20 p.m., Palo Alto police dispatch received a second-hand report of a man with a gun inside the Neiman Marcus store at Stanford Shopping Center at 180 El Camino Real.

UPDATE: San Francisco Police Investigate Union Square Robbery Similar to Palo Alto Handbag Heist

Officers immediately responded to the scene. Upon arrival, they learned there was no armed suspect with a gun, but rather a shoplift burglary committed by a large group.

Police investigation determined that ten unarmed suspects -- five male and five female -- entered the store and grabbed 43 handbags. Some of the bags had to be physically ripped off of security cables, shattering some glass in display cabinets.

The suspects exited the store and fled in three vehicles prior to police arrival. Palo Alto police believe at least two additional suspects were acting as getaway drivers but did not enter the store. Police speculated that someone heard the breaking display cabinet glass and thought it was a gunshot, since there was no evidence any of the suspects were armed.

The total value of the handbags was more than $150,000.

Witnesses could only describe the suspects as black males and females, all of whom were wearing face coverings and hooded items of clothing. The three vehicles were described as a white Ford Mustang, a dark blue Infiniti four-door sedan, and a white Infiniti four-door sedan.

Police provided two surveillance images of some of the suspects in the parking lot of the Stanford Shopping Center.

Palo Alto police are actively investigating this case, working with regional partners to see if the same group of suspects may be connected to any similar thefts in other cities.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to the Palo Alto Police Department our 24-hour dispatch center at (650) 329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to or sent via text message or voice mail to (650) 383-8984.

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