ONLY ON ABC7NEWS.COM: Fillmore Street thieves caught on camera stealing high-end items

ByMelanie Woodrow KGO logo
Wednesday, December 25, 2019
EXCLUSIVE: SF thieves caught on camera stealing high-end items
A group of sophisticated crooks hit up several stores in San Francisco recently walking away with high-end items worth thousands.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A group of sophisticated crooks hit up several stores in the Pacific Heights neighborhood recently walking away with high-end items worth thousands. They told each store the same story.

Now employees are talking and sharing their surveillance video with police and ABC7 News Reporter Melanie Woodrow.

The shops on Fillmore Street in San Francisco's Pacific Heights neighborhood are no stranger to thieves.

"I've had shoplifting before but not as good as this time," said Mio owner Miyo Ota.

Sophisticated shoplifters managed to get past employees at several stores in December saying they were visiting from Paris.

In surveillance video from Mio, you can see them stuffing Issey Miyake jackets worth thousands under their outerwear.

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"The pros are so good they can do it in front of you and you would never know you were being picked," said Ota.

No masks; no smash and grab; the crooks according to employees were actually quite engaging.

"They were able to distract the salespeople on the floor and do it very quickly, precisely, they knew what they wanted," said Ota.

Employees couldn't tell anything was missing until they were gone.

"It does make me ill," said Ota.

The next day two of the three hit up Sweet & Spark which sells vintage jewelry, scarves and purses it procures from estate sales.

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"Usually when someone asks to see the designer case we leave it open, we've never had an issue in the past," said Sweet & Spark employee Medina Suta.

As one woman looked at scarves, the man snatched a rare pink vintage Channel $6,800 purse and stuffed it up his jacket.

"She like held up a bunch of them (scarves) like in front of my coworkers face," said Suta.

"What's weird is that he actually shook my coworker's hand when they left," she continued.

Both stores have shared their videos with San Francisco police.

A spokesperson tells ABC7 News police are investigating whether the people in both videos are the same.

As of Nov. 30, SFPD says there's been a slight decline in theft-related crimes as well as robberies citywide.

Northern Station officers also patrol the area, but store employees say they're not sure that makes a difference given how sophisticated these thieves were.