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Thieves steal $15K worth of Italian handbags

Surveillance video shows 2 crooks taking 19 handbags in less than 15 seconds

SAN ANTONIO – Thieves ripped through a high-end Castle Hills boutique at Northwest Military Highway and West Avenue last week and took off with more than $15,000 worth of stolen handbags.

The boarded up 4-by-14 foot window at the front of Guidi Italian Handbags was about the only thing left on Monday of the mess owner Maria DeRosa walked into last week.

"A million glass pieces everywhere. Things were toppled over. The whole front and side line of all the purses were gone. Everything was just gone and it was just chaos," she said.

It was the work of at least two people who are seen on surveillance video smashing in the window, then dashing in to grab the bags. They were in and out within 15 seconds, and DeRosa said they took off with 19 handbags, about six wallets and four silk scarves.

Castle Hills police were at the store within 35 seconds of the alarm call, but that still wasn't fast enough.

Police Chief Wayne Davis said his officers could have been there even faster if the alarm company called police first instead of DeRosa. He wants store owners in Castle Hills to ask the alarm companies to make the first call to police.

As for DeRosa, she has watched the video over and over again, looking for anything she can recognize about the masked thieves. 

She said she was also remembering a recent suspicious browser in the store and wondering if she should have called police back then.

"In this particular case, we might have been able to go back and identify that suspicious person at that time, and then get a good picture, because in this particular surveillance footage, obviously they're wearing hoodies and gloves," said Davis.

Even if the thieves are not recognizable in the video, the purses they stole are.

DeRosa said she had checked eBay, Amazon, every Craigslist in Texas and pawn shops looking for the stolen handbags.

"We're only the second U.S. store, so they really can't sell them. They will be caught if they start popping up somewhere," she said.