Five alleged shoplifters assaulted a Victoria’s Secret employee as they exited the store with the goods, according to law enforcement officials who indicate that the suspects are still at large.
The panty raid, as it were, occurred at a Miami-area Victoria’s Secret store on Tuesday morning and was caught on the shop’s surveillance video, which cops just released. See footage embedded below.
According to the Miami Herald, the suspects walked into the Miami Lakes store at the Main Street Shopping Center and “began picking up large quantities of the same type of merchandise.” After a violent encounter with the employee, they fled the scene in what is believed to be a silver Hyundai Elantra.
WSVN-TV in Miami reports that Miami-Dade police are still investigating the incident.
“Police said when one of the women was walking toward the exit, the sales associate asked if she wanted her to hold the merchandise for her. At that moment, surveillance caught the crook as she grabbed the employee’s hair. Then, several other women joined in, hitting and punching her in the face.”
Other customers stood around and watched as the alleged lingerie lifters ganged up on the store clerk, but in today’s topsy-turvy world, their reluctance to intervene is perhaps understandable.
While the security footage is of limited utility, the victim of the assault had the presence of mind to take cell phone pictures of the alleged bra bandits, which police have also released to the public in hopes of gaining tips leading to their identification and arrest.
The quick-thinking and brave sales associate, 32, received treatment from first responders “after getting punched in the face,” the Miami Herald added.
A subsidiary of L Brands, Victoria’s Secret operates about 1,000 intimate apparel retail stores in the U.S., mostly located in shopping malls.
Separately, security cameras revealed that two Maryland women, ages 23 and 17, allegedly helped themselves to clothes from a Victoria’s Secret store in Waldorf, Maryland on April 27. “Police say around 8 p.m. on that day, the two women entered the store and stole 12 tank tops, 36 hooded sweatshirts, 24 pants and 12 shorts off of the front entrance display and placed them into large trash bags,” ABC Washington, D.C., affiliate WJLA explained. Cops have an arrest warrant out for the older women and expect to bring charges against the teen shortly.
Parenthetically, as the Inquisitr reported yesterday, Victoria’s Secret first announced in April that it will eventually phase out its supermodel-featuring print catalog and go all digital. It is also apparently eliminating swimwear, apparel, accessories, and shoes both online and in stores. The company said it needs to rebrand its focus on its core merchandise categories — bras, panties, and beauty — in a recent earnings call on Thursday, May 19. That means the company will make some major changes, such as phasing out its swimwear and non-athletic apparel items, such as T-shirts and sweaters.
“Victoria’s Secret spends $125 million to $150 million a year producing the catalog, L Brands finance chief Stuart Burgdoerfer said on an earnings call. At that level of spending, the company needs to see ‘a meaningful amount of sales’ being driven in return, he said — and the company wasn’t seeing it…The catalog’s demise is the end of an era for many who are familiar with the sight of Victoria’s Secret Angels in their mailboxes, and for the company itself which made distributing hundreds of millions of catalogs a core part of its business for decades,” BuzzFeed detailed.
[Photo by Nam Y. Huh/AP]