Wednesday, November 23, 2011

High Fashion Theft

For the Love of God by Damien Hirst

The Marc Jacob Spring/Summer Collection 2012 was stolen from a train on its trip from Paris to London. This has made big news because of the name associated with the collection and the logistics of stealing an entire collection from a train. Don’t ask me how they did it, must be a version of the Great Train Robbery. This grand robbery does beg the question, what are the thieves going to do with their booty? It’s kind of like stealing the Mona Lisa, unless you have a private collector waiting for their prize to arrive, you can’t really sell it on the open market. If you wear the garments in question you’re probably a pretty small thief who has serious issues with owning high fashion designs. This theft really doesn’t make a lot of sense, but then again, stealing doesn’t make a lot of sense in general.

I read that some audacious thieves tried to steal the Millennium Diamonds while they were on exhibit back in 2000 in London. This would have been quite a haul but where do you fence this kind of stuff? The Hirst Skull is now coming to London for an exhibit at the same museum. This will require stepped up security to keep this flawless diamond encrusted skull in place. This item maybe a little easier to breakdown since each diamond is secured to a platinum cast of a real human skull. Although it would be pretty gruesome work removing all the diamonds from the skull so you could sell them on the open market. Thieves will target just about anything and their scams and tactics are getting more and more creative. If only they put this much energy into honest work, who knows what they could do.

There are crime blotters that JCK Magazine and other publications send out each week. I always find it amazing when you read about some jewelry store being robbed. It also seems that home robberies are up as there are many reports of huge hauls from private homes. First of all, who are these people that they have $50,000 in jewelry just lying around their house and second, why do they have so much jewelry lying around? The latest scam to hit jewelry retailers is a money transfer scam. The thief come into a jewelry store, picks out some nice pieces, begins a money transfer and somewhere between the wrapping of the jewelry and contacting the bank, the thief is gone with the merchandise and the transfer is cancelled. Now I know times are tough all over, but aren’t money transfers complicated? Also, who lets someone walk out of a store with an expensive piece without making sure they’ve been paid.

This all comes down to logic and reason, make sure your customers pay and always secure your purchases. Now that the holidays are here consumers and retailers need to be aware that thieves go shopping too, just not in the usual ways. Consumers keep your purse and purchases close by, don’t set things down. Also keep purchases out of sight when stowing things in your car, always put things in the trunk. Retailers need to be cautious about scam artists and identity theft. Stolen credit cards and cash transfers are becoming big business for thieves. It doesn’t hurt to be a little suspicious during this time of year, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

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