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Crime Stoppers seek North Bend Coach store thief
King County law enforcement officials are on the trail of a thief with expensive tastes. Coach handbag stores in North Bend, Burlington, and Woodburn, Ore., have been the target of a late-night burglar a total of four times in recent weeks.
The thief, caught on security video in the Oregon store, appears to be a man wearing gloves and a tuque-style knit hat. He is seen smashing in the glass of the front door to get into the store, where he snatches up thousands of dollars in merchandise and leaves through the back door, in less than two minutes.
"They break in at night, and he just grabs handfuls of those purses," said Crimestoppers' staff member Elizabeth Allen. "I think at one store, it was $7,000 a grab."
North Bend's Coach store in the Factory Outlet Stores mall has been robbed twice in this manner, prompting North Bend Police Chief Mark Toner to coordinate efforts with law enforcement in the other victim's communities, and to contact Crime Stoppers.
"We're also working with Coach security," Toner said. "I think Coach is a target because of the value of their merchandise... and my understanding is there is a resale market for these items."
The value of the stolen purses makes each burglary a felony, punishable by up to five years in jail. Coach is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the thief. Additionally, Crime Stoppers (1-800--222-TIPS) offers a $1,000 reward for information. Washington's Most Wanted aired a segment on the thief last Saturday, and video of the Oregon store's break-in is posted on the Washington's Most Wanted website.