Almost $1 million in handbags were stolen in a smash and grab robbery of the luxury bag store Only Authentics located in Palm Beach, Florida on Christmas Eve. The robbery took place a little more than two weeks after thieves initially stole close to $500,000 worth of bags.
No arrests have been reported.
The two robberies come after Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody announced the state’s plan on December 2nd to help prevent such crimes through the creation of a statewide task force and database known as the Florida Organized Retail Crime Exchange, or FORCE.
According to Moody’s announcement, the FORCE is a “talented team of investigators, state attorneys, law enforcement” that will utilize a new database that will help law enforcement track retail thefts and identify criminal organizations that are behind them.
“As organized crime has increased, as organized theft rings have become more complex and sophisticated, so will we. … Make no mistake, this does not harm just retailers … This holiday season, I want Floridians to feel safe and secure when they go out to our shopping centers,” Moody stated.
However, as the two robberies of Only Authentics shows, the creation of the FORCE does not necessarily prevent such crimes from happening, rather just investing in technology that increases the chances of the criminals who committed such crimes to be caught and brought to justice.
In an interview with CBS 12 in Palm Beach, describing the two burglaries, the store’s owner, Virgil Rogers, stated:
“It’s almost like we’re in the wild, wild west here. … We as citizens living on Palm Beach Island especially, we almost live in a bubble, we do, it’s very sad and now it’s come to the homefront and your own home, what’s going on elsewhere.”
Rogers is referencing the rise in smash and grab robberies luxury retailers are experiencing that are taking place across the country, from California to New York. Concerned over being hit again because of how light the sentencing can be for these criminals, Rogers stated,
“I think there should be stiffer penalties for these types of crimes. I don’t think people should be allowed to be out on bail as quickly as they are because I am certainly not a millionaire, that’s for sure, and I really can’t take another hit like this. It will put me completely out of business.”
That being said, as the FORCE looks to identify and prosecute individuals involved in organizing the retail thefts, Moody suggested that it will also try to crack down on whom the crime leaders recruit to actually execute the crime – like the ones mentioned by Rogers.
“We know that juveniles are often recruited to commit crimes for these large criminal organizations because they think juveniles will never be held accountable. And if we allow that to keep happening without working these cases up, and putting these organized crime leaders behind bars for a significant period of time, Florida may see what’s going on in other states,” Moody stated.
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Casey Owens is a contributing writer for The Florida Capital Star. Follow him on Twitter at @cowensreports. Email tips to email@example.com.
Photo “Only Authentics” by Only Authentics.
Republished with permission from The Florida Capital Star
PLUS, Said Stores should be allowed to SUE the Families for Damages. After all, if the Parents can Sue because their 35 Year Old Criminal Son was Legally Shot by Police then the Store Owners should be allowed to Sue the Parents of the Looters.
Business should be permitted to post a sign that states “Looters Shot on Sight”, and legally permitted to follow through with that action. Furthermore, any looter shot (and/or his or her family) are not permitted to profit in anyway as a result of said action… no race card, no Ben Crump, no ghetto lotto.
… problem solved
I SAY, allow the Stores to Hire “Active Armed Security” to be positioned inside the Stores and SHOOT any and ALL involved in the Smash-N-Grabs. They get a Bonus for each Kill.
It’s not really like the “wild, wild west”. as owner Virgil Rogers said. In the wild, wild west the owner of store selling high dollar merchandise would hire a couple of armed guards to provide immediate justice should bad guys try and steal his stuff. I don’t think it would take too many immediate interventions by store owners before the smash and grab problem went away.
Deflecting blame of the lawless situation in our Nation for the “Mostly Peaceful” Smash and Grab along with other out of control crime to nefarious and shadowy “Crime Leaders” does nothing but provide cover to the white leftists who sponsored the Antifa riots under the guise of BLM along with providing cover to the Biden administration and the leftist media who cheered on the crimes. Also dont forget all the Soros installed and other leftist prosecutors who will not punish criminals.
We need to fund local LEO’s to set up task forces to apprehend these criminals and prosecutors who will hand out maximum sentencing to stop the crime.
Funding a task force to chase down imaginary “large criminal organisations” does nothing but prolong the situation and provide cover for the leftists and Biden Administration who are responsable for our out of control crime.
I would have called it a “FART” for Fast Action Response Team”. As long as there is not a consequence, crime will continue.
Kids aren’t sophisticated enough to steal a million dollars in expensive merchandise (handbags, jewelry, clothing, etc.) and sell them for any kind of significant return. (Try putting a $20,000 handbag on eBay at any price and see what kind of attention you get.) The merchandise has to be funneled through the same kinds of hands/organizations as if it was money being laundered, and sold privately. That takes a kind of sophistication and a network that the kids don’t have. They make a LOT more money as the acquisition arm of organized crime than they ever could peddling them in their neighborhoods.
Good on Moody and FORCE. I wish them well.
Stop with the “Smash and Grab” terminology already. Everyone knows that the proper Progressive PC term is, “Undocumented Shopping Spree”.
I do agree with Mike these smash and grab are likely small time local gang or social media arranged. The idea that secret big time villains are in control seems kind of ludicrous. Ashley has been watching way too much Marvel, DC, or maybe too much old Bond movies on Netflix. Uhh Ash its local…very local and the local LEO’s need to do their jobs.
Psst… Don’t look now Ashley, Florida is seeing what’s going on in other states right now. There is nothing complex or sophisticated about a smash and grab robbery.