Couture Traders, designer handbag store in Roxbury, NJ, robbed for third time this year

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Tuesday, June 11, 2024
Designer handbag store in NJ robbed for third time in 2024
Toni Yates has more on the robberies at Couture Traders, a designer handbag store in Ledgewood.

LEDGEWOOD, New Jersey (WABC) -- Investigators are trying to track down the serial burglars accused of targeting the same high-end designer accessories store in Morris County.

The latest 3 a.m. break-in at Couture Traders is the third time in two months that thieves targeted the designer handbag store in Ledgewood.

"All three times, they've smashed the glass, they've come in through the door and stole what they could get out in about four minutes," said Nolan Forlenza, the store's owner.

Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Gucci, Chanel -- the thieves were in and out in minutes with armfuls of purses.

"We think they target the high-end designer bags that we sell because they're easily sold and they can turn them into money quickly," Forlenza said.

The first burglary happened several weeks ago, the suspects pulling their vehicle right up in front of the store. The group shattered a front window and then searched for the most expensive items.

In response, the store immediately stepped up security.

"We keep upgrading and they keep coming back. They're not going to stop us, but they keep coming back," Forlenza added.

The thieves returned one week later. Somehow from the bottom, they bent the gate covering the door, one person holding it up while others pour into the store.

In video surveillance of an earlier break-in, the suspects take an entire case filled with purses and smash their way out with the container.

Couture Traders has added another security upgrade intended to make sure there are less than seconds to even step into the store before police arrive, if these now re-enforced gates are breached.

"We're very frustrated. We feel they know there are no repercussions for their actions so they're willing to take the chance. So, they're smashing, taking what they can get and going, knowing that the punishment isn't going to be bad enough," Forlenza said.


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