Tuesday, January 25, 2022 Jan 25, 2022
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HEIST COUTURE

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crime Police call them “smash and grabs”-and they’re on the increase. In the past year, numerous upscale clotheries have been hit by deft and determined burglars who back a truck through a plate glass window and load up with all the designer labels they can grab. And they’re fast.

Police, lacking leads, speculate that the common denominator in all the crimes is narcotics, and say the goods are being sold on the streets or in garage sales. But some store managers are skeptical that the drug dens of Dallas can absorb a market swollen with Donna Karan suits. “The volume alone |17 stores in one month] would lead you to speculate that the clothes have to be leaving the city,” says Shelle Bagot, owner of The Gazebo, terri bumgarner, manager of Amy’s in Preston Center, which was hit four times in five months, agrees. “I have a feeling that there’s a black market or a crooked off-price merchandise ring out there somewhere.” Bumgarner proposes outfitting outfits with stamped identification codes, an idea she has proposed to several manufacturers, with little response.

Daniel Taylor’s, a men’s clothier in Oak Lawn, has been robbed 15 times in four years. Taylor thought he was on to a lead one day last month when a man came in to exchange a pair of expensive pants that Taylor recognized as stolen merchandise. When confronted, the man turned a deep shade of red-and admitted that he had found the pants in his van, which had been stolen.

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