SOHO, Manhattan (WABC) -- A brazen robbery at the Chanel store in SoHo was caught on surveillance camera and released by police, as they search for suspects believed to be behind several similar incidents.
Authorities four men entered the store on Spring Street around 2 p.m. Tuesday and began to remove handbags off the shelves, while threatening a 61-year-old woman working as a security guard.
One of the men motioned that he had a gun in his waistband, and when the security guard said she was also armed, one of them allegedly responded, "What are you going to do, shoot me?"
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The robbers grabbed 12 wallets and 32 handbags worth some $160,000 and fled towards Wooster Street.
They got into a waiting vehicle, possibly an Audi, with no license plates.
No one was injured.
NYPD Chief Rodney Harrison said the individuals depicted in the videos are responsible for multiple robberies and burglaries of high end retail stores in Manhattan, with the group of three to nine suspects believed to be behind at least 20 incidents since September 1.
"These criminals are capitalizing off of wearing these face masks," he said. "So it's extremely difficult to identify who these individuals are. Unfortunately, we have not been able to identify these perpetrators. But we do have persons of interest we are looking at."
Authorities say the suspects bum rush the stores, grab high end merchandise and run out, fleeing in rental cars that are not easy to track, many times with switched or fraudulent license plates. Other times they break into the stores in the middle of the night.
"We saw this trend/pattern started around September 1," Harrison said. "We have over 20 incidents that we want to say may be attributed to this crew of individuals committing these crimes."
A couple stores, like the Chanel in SoHo, have been hit more than once.
The same group of suspects were seen in a video of another frenzied robbery.
Video shows a previous heist at a Montclair store in SoHo.
The robberies have also happened despite of a uniformed police presence in SoHo intended to deter crime.
Anyone with information is urged to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).