By Joe Johnson
Designer merchandise valued at nearly $50,000 reportedly was stolen from a downtown boutique owned by ACC District 7 Commissioner Russell Edwards and his wife.
According to an Athens-Clarke County police report, at about 4:39 on Oct. 9 an officer responded to a burglar alarm activation at Agora Vintage on East Broad Street where he met a witness who told of seeing a male make a punching motion at the front door, triggering an audible alarm, and later saw him running from the store carrying what appeared to be a cash box before leaving in a silver sedan that had been parked nearby.
The officer waited at the scene for Edwards to arrive, at which time the commissioner showed him surveillance video footage from his cell phone that depicted two males at the front door, using a brick to break the glass, according to the police report.
Upon entering the store, the suspects went straight for the shelves behind the counter that displayed high-end handbags.
Each suspect grabbed a handful of bags before exiting the store and driving away west on Broad Street in a newer-model silver sedan, possibly a Nissan Maxima, according to the report.
One suspect wore all-dark clothing with white or silver lettering on the back, and the other had on a dark hoodie and red pants, according to the report, which noted that both suspects wore gloves and their faces were not visible in the video.
The property sheet of the police report indicates that the stolen merchandise included 19 handbags, purses and wallets made by designers Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Bottega Veneta, and Chanel, with a total value of $47,428.
The incident was the second burglary at Agora Vintage this year.
In February, someone used a hammer to break the store’s front window and stole merchandise valued at $16,000 from the window display.