Cut-and-run thieves strike Macy’s

A man and woman stole $5,000 worth of Coach purses and attacked a security guard before fleeing Macy’s department store in Serramonte Center this week, the fourth time the pair have preyed on the store, police said.

The suspects, described as a black man and woman in their late 20s or early 30s, entered the store from the west entrance and used a cable cutter to steal a dozen expensive Coach purses Tuesday, Daly City police Officer Daniel Hazelton said.

Hazelton said that Macy’s security guard Amanda Reid rushed to stop the alleged thieves but when she grabbed the man, he hit her on the back with a rack and then attempted to hit her again with bolt cutters.

Reid was bruised but did not sustain serious injuries. The guards, who were unarmed, were forced to stop the pursuit when the female suspect threatened to get a gun from the car, Hazelton said.

Without further incident, the suspects fled the scene in a brand-new light green Mitsubishi Galant with mock-up plates, police said.

The suspects first struck the store in 2006, police said, and repeated the crime in April and October of 2007. Hazelton said that Macy’s officials caught the suspects on a video camera hanging above the Coach counter. Though the video was grainy, Tuesday’s suspects were clearly the same people who committed the crime last year, he said.

One Macy’s employee, who asked not to be named, said that after the October incident the store replaced the wires that attached the racks to the glass counter with thicker cables. However, the measure did not stop the suspects from returning to the store to steal the purses in less than a minute and make their way to the nearest exit, where their car was parked, police said. The suspects always leave their getaway car in front of the west entrance, which is less than 100 feet from the Coach counter, store employees said.

Macy’s store manager Nancy Raggio said she could not comment on the incident because it was an ongoing investigation. However, Hazelton said Macy’s is investigating similar incidents that have happened recently in other Macy’s in the Bay Area, including Richmond’s Hilltop Mall.

“They know what they’re doing,” he said. “I think they know what security can and can’t do. They just go, do it and get out.”

svasilyuk@examiner.com

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