The Valentine’s Day theft of an expensive coat in Vail has investigators looking for evidence to link similar thefts in Aspen and Denver. In each case, shoplifters pose as affluent shoppers who use a ruse to distract employees and steal expensive boutique clothing.
On Feb. 15, an employee of Designer Furs located at 285 Bridge Street in Vail Village contacted Vail Police to report the shoplifting. The sales associate was assisting a couple on Valentine’s Day at about 6:30 p.m. The male and female duo worked together to distract the sales associate and partially block surveillance cameras. The male was able to steal the jacket by concealing it under his puffy-style winter coat. The couple’s strange behavior prompted the employee to review the video recording which revealed the theft of an Empress brand chinchilla fur jacket, natural gray in color, and valued at $35,000.
The method and timing of the theft has Vail Police investigators collaborating with surrounding law enforcement agencies and retail organizations. “There are indications these thieves are professional shoplifters,” says Detective Sgt. Annette Dopplick. She notes a strong partnership with local merchants and professional retail organizations is critical in sharing information and developing information on the suspects. The suspects cased several shops in Vail just prior to the theft of the jacket.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Vail Police Department at 970-479-2201.