Police wary of copycats in Gucci window smashing

A thief who tried to drive a Jeep through the glass storefront of the Gucci store in Union Square has police looking out for possible copycat incidents.

The brazen and unique nature of the crime, which took place at 4:15 a.m. Nov. 5, prompted a memo last week to all police captains to beware of possible imitators, said Tenderloin Capt. Gary Jimenez, one of the recipients of the memo before his station duties were changed.

At least one suspect is still at large after the incident, San Francisco police Officer Samson Chan said.

Witnesses told police the motorist rammed the Jeep into the window portion of the luxury-goods store, located in the 200 block of Stockton Street, Chan said.

“The window did shatter, but it didn’t completely break open,” Chan said. The thief abandoned the vehicle and ran away without any loot. Police have not released the suspect’s description.

The Jeep was reported stolen from the East Bay, Chan said.

The manager of the Gucci store did not return calls for comment Sunday.

Chan said he didn’t know whether the unusual robbery attempt was connected to a similar heist the following day at the Gucci outlet store in Vacaville.

In that instance, three men used a sledgehammer at 3:56 a.m. to shatter the windows of the store, which is located in the Vacaville Premium Outlets mall on Nut Tree Road, said Vacaville public safety dispatcher Dawn Lightfoot.

“They shattered several display cases and took purses and sunglasses,” she said. The men sped off in a dark-colored Volkswagen described as either a Jetta or Passat, according to police.

The suspects in that incident were described as Hispanic men between 18 and 24 years old. Two had thin builds and the third was heavyset, Lightfoot said.

Police said one of the men was seen wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt. Another wore a white dress shirt and blazer. The third wore a dark coat and knit hat.

tbarak@sfexaminer.com

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