Considering how many luxury boutiques have reputations for staffs that seem to purposefully ignore customers who don’t fit a very narrow profile, it’s perhaps surprising that more people don’t simply pick up bags and trot right out the door with them. After all, if a salesperson is busy pretending you don’t exist, it must be hard for him or her to make sure you don’t get a case of the sticky fingers. Apparently a woman in England has been using that behavior to her advantage to the tune of 904 handbags for the price of free ninety-nine.
The woman, Jayne Rand, got caught on handbag 905, according to the BBC. There’s no word on what that fateful bag was, but during her years-long spree, Rand swiped bags from brands like Louis Vuitton, Dior, Gucci, Prada and Mulberry, mostly from high-end department stores. She traveled around the country to vary her targets and help avoid detection on repeated visits, and her technique was simple: walk in without a bag, put one on her shoulder, walk around browsing with it for a while and then leave with it.
Rand wasn’t snatching bags to fill out her own collection, though. Instead, she sold the bags on eBay, some to repeat customers for whom she’d boost particular bags on request. She made over $140,000 on the bags via the auction site, with the court-determined value of the bags being over double that. The actual retail prices would have been much higher.
A British court has sentenced Rand to a year and a half in jail for her one-woman theft ring, which seems a tad short compared to what she might get for a similar spree in America. What’s more interesting, though, is that with how many authentic designer bags she sold, it’s likely that one of our readers or PurseForum members may have bid on one of her auctions or bought a bag from her. So, does that name ring a bell, eBayers?