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  • Aug 30, 2014
  • Updated: 6:30am
NewsHong Kong

Thief walks out of Burberry store wearing HK$995,000 alligator coat

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 February, 2014, 1:39pm
UPDATED : Friday, 21 February, 2014, 8:23pm

An audacious shoplifter left one of the world's biggest designer brands red-faced after he walked out of a Hong Kong store with a HK$995,000 alligator skin coat.

The brazen robber - who was caught on security cameras in the Burberry store in Tsim Sha Tsui - is understood to have simply lifted the trench coat off the mannequin it was on and calmly walked out of the store into the crowded Silvercord shopping mall on Canton Road at around 7.30pm on Wednesday.

Staff didn't notice it was gone until several hours later when they were doing a stock take at closing time. The police were called in at midnight.

The light grey garment had only been delivered to the store hours earlier and was not fitted with a security tag, police said.

Security cameras showed a Chinese man in his 30s or 40s taking the jacket off the mannequin inside the three-storey store and walking out unchallenged.

He was in and out of the shop - one of 14 Burberry has in the city - in around a minute, one police officer said. They believe the thief was acting alone.

Shop assistants appeared unaware of the man as they were serving other customers.

A South China Morning Post visit to the store yesterday found security was tight, with at least two staff serving each customer. Sales assistants refused to discuss the theft, only saying it was "business as usual".

Celebrity fashion stylist Nel Nel Cheung said of alligator skin garments: "Every piece is unique. The slightest mistake while sewing the garment together can ruin the whole piece."

According to a police source, some designer brands do not like security tags on their products.

"They think it will ruin their design and damage their brand name," the source said, "They rely on surveillance cameras and security personnel."

He also revealed there were on average two or three reports of theft a month from luxury shops in Tsim Sha Tsui. "They are opportunists and usually act alone. They target designer goods that do not have security tags."

A spokesman for the store said last night: "As the case is under investigation, Burberry will not make any further comments."



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This article is now closed to comments

They should first check the nearest Crocodile store. This could be the same jacket stolen from the Manhattan Crocodile store in December. Who's to know the difference between alligator and croc coats except for the inflated price tags? The coat stolen in N.Y was 'only' US $50,000. At this rate of thefts , these coats are likely to be listed soon by CITES as endangered species . If it is ever recovered, I hope the Customs dept. burns it along with the tons of seized ivory imports
Security camera could tell the man is Chinese, and not say Korean?
Now this was a brilliant piece of performance art, far more interesting, powerful and meaningful than Ai Weiwei's pretentious ****.
ballsy, just ballsy. don't condone crime but that person has bxxxx!
The SCMP ought to try to interview the store manager from yesterday again, today!
I bet a suspect matching the clothing description will be located in LKF
Burberry get what they deserve!
I consider it obscene that a retailer can market a coat for nearly 100,000 whilst people born and raised in the same city cannot hardly afford to live in a cramped sub divided flat and may consider eating at a fast food outlet something beyond their means. This disparity in life is obscene!
Only an idiot would be ostentatious in a city full of people living in poverty
If only we could take back the streets
Must be a typing error, that should be nearly $1,000,000 (one Million)!
It's business as usual because the shop will earn that back in less than half a day. The owner should consider using more of his fat profits to employ more staff. He will find there will be fewer embarrassing stories and providing more employment to locals will create better relations and that is always good for business.
The fact that they have confirmed that it was a Chinese man so fast will not help relations between Hongkongers and Chinese.
I wonder if they could match up video footage of people crossing the border to identify the culprit?
Chinese man does not mean he is PRC. He can be from HK as well.
In Hong Kong when we say Chinese it means Chinese citizens of the P.R. China, not Singaporean, Japnese or Korean. If it was a Hong Kong person he would be called a local or Hongkonger.
maybe japanese, singerporean, thai, .....but surely not the philipino.
GREAT! A million dollar sneaky alligator in a crowded shopping area! Maybe it is still hiding in the nearby Kowloon Park or off across the border! The next could perhaps be the mannequin itself! Real victim - a poor insurance company with a huge claim in the pipeline!
For HK$900,000 one could by several live crocodiles.
Sewing them together might be a bit tough!
What's even more bizarre is that SCMP would even consider this piece of information worthy of putting onto their website..........truly bizzare.
Yeah but at least it gave me a laugh.
sudo rm -f cy
The most bizarre thing in this article: that a jacket could cost $900,000.


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