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?

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Faiza H

    I thought luxury stores like LV, Prada had electronic security tags on their bags not to mention those electronic doors that beep when you leave. Or has the recession hit them hard that they can’t afford that.
    However, I doubt if anybody would come forward acknowledging to have purchased a bag from the said woman as it’s stolen goods and can likely be claimed back by the company.

    • ShopSaveSequins

      I’ve never seen security tags on their pieces when I’ve shopped. They think it looks tacky. Hence why they have security guards at doors.

      • Faiza H

        I guess by security tags I meant the electronic sensors attached to a bag. Here in Canada all the luxury stores; even Coach have them. It basically prevents you from grabbing the bag and toting it around as the sensors are plugged and needs an SA to unlock them.

      • Spoiledlttleldy

        Coach bags tend to have the little sensors in the inside pocket so as not to be so overt. ( I’ve set off many sensors in other stores by forgetting it’s in there). If the the other boutiques do the same, she probably knew it and removed them before making her escape.

    • In what I’ve read about this case, the thief sometimes removed security tags but usually did not have to. I’ve never shopped in England and most of the department stores she went to don’t have American outposts, so British conventions around product security may just be slightly different than what a consumer from America or elsewhere may expect.

  • msc

    Unbelievable. Wonder what the name of her ebay site was?

  • ymmayer

    Oh man am I the only one who thinks a year and a half in jail is totally worth it for 904 hand bags?

    • valerievc

      …oh wow…i thought the same thing

  • Chidori

    What department store is in the picture? :D

    • Jen

      As Ottercat noted, it is a photo of the Crystals Mall at City Center in Las Vegas.

      • Chidori

        Yay thanks!

  • ottercat

    This happened in the UK — right? Or am I reading this incorrectly. Why pictures of Vegas?

    • The stock images we use when talking about shopping/stores are some that Vladi took in Vegas. We don’t have creative rights to use other people’s images of stores in specific locations.

      • ottercat

        Ah. Makes sense.

  • louch

    What I can’t believe is no-one noticed her!! And I’m the one who emailed this web and showed it!!

  • Fabhere

    A year and a half is not worth, she should be sentenced for more years or at least be fined the amount that those 904 bags worth. She not only stole those bags, she reduced the values of the designer’s bag. Those thieves out there should realize no matter how easy money and how big amount you get by stealing, you will eventually get caught or suffer.