San Diego

Private Investigator Analyzes $500K Heist at Hermes de Paris in Fashion Valley

Private Investigator Dorian Bond is often hired to help solve crimes just like this one.

Early Sunday morning, thieves took half-million dollars-worth of merchandise from the Hermes De Paris store in Fashion Valley, a boutique that sells high-end luxury purses and other items.

Private Investigator Dorian Bond is often hired to help solve crimes just like this one.

What he sees is no random smash-and-grab, but an organized group that likely struck other stores before this and is likely planning its next heist.

At around 4:20 a.m. Sunday, two blue sedans and a Chevy Suburban rolled into the north entrance of Fashion Valley Mall.

Police say 10 men, gloved and their features disguised went in and out Hermes De Paris with $500,000-worth of product in just two minutes.

"They probably staked out the location for two weeks,” Bond said.

Bond reviewed the case and, through skype interview from Phoenix, told NBC 7 about the details he picked up on with his trained eye and offered some insight on SDPD's investigative process.

San Diego Police Department
The suspects may be part of a series of burglaries at high-end retailers across California.

“So the police right now are probably looking at surveillance video from the last two weeks and seeing if they can spot a consistency of a person standing by vehicles in the area, things like that," Bond said.

While the crime was well outside operating hours, Bond says there is a high likelihood the crew had inside help.

"It could be a security guard, it could be somebody who works at the adjacent store because they know the back doors, it could be a former employee," Bond said.

The suspects each wore hooded sweatshirts and gloves during the 2-minute-long heist.

Bond says the vehicles are the best lead even though they are likely rentals with illegitimate temporary paper tags. The thieves are more likely to get caught than the merchandise recovered, in Bond's opinion.

Hermes purses can cost more than some cars and such merchandise often has a buyer even before it’s stolen.

“Right when they left the store they probably dropped them off to a buyer or a distributor," Bond said. "They could be halfway across the country right now."


The burglary took just a pry bar and two minutes, but Bond sees an organized crew and a far more sophisticated plan.

Police say the swarm and steal method resembles the Neiman Marcus burglary that happened last March in this same mall.

Investigators have identified suspects in that case but haven't determined whether they are also responsible for this crime.

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