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

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Police in San Francisco on Thursday confirmed they're investigating a snatch-and-grab robbery at Saks Fifth Avenue in Union Square this week similar to the Wednesday robbery targeting a Palo Alto Neiman Marcus.

According to San Francisco police, on Tuesday afternoon shortly after 3 p.m., officers from Central Station responded to the 300 block of Post Street after a reported burglary.

Arriving officers spoke with a security guard who said he saw approximately six juvenile suspects in the store who allegedly grabbed multiple pieces of merchandise before fleeing the store on foot.

The security guard said they then got into two separate vehicles parked on Powell Street and left the area. A post by the Instagram account @SFStreets415 about the crime reported that the targeted shop was the Saks Fifth Avenue store and that $90,000 in merchandise was taken by five or six suspects.

SF Saks Fifth Ave robbery
SF Saks Fifth Ave robbery (Instagram/@sfstreets415)

The method used in the robbery was strikingly similar to the Wednesday snatch-and-grab at a Palo Alto Neiman Marcus store police are investigating.

Authorities in Palo Alto issued a press release Wednesday regarding that incident, saying 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.

In that instance, there were ten unarmed suspects -- five male and five female -- who entered the store and grabbed 43 handbags. Some of the bags were physically ripped off of security cables, shattering some glass in display cabinets.

Authorities said 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.

Palo Alto police posted surveillance camera images of the suspects in the robbery on social media. Those suspects are still being sought.

The Powell Street incident is being investigated by the SFPD burglary detail. So far, no arrests have been made.

San Francisco police are asking anyone with information regarding the incidents to contact the SFPD via the SFPD 24-hour-tip line at 1-415-575-4444, or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the message with SFPD. Tips can be made anonymously.


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