Handbag heist: Thousands of dollars in designer bags swiped from La Jolla shop


LA JOLLA, Calif. – Authorities are investigating an alleged designer handbag heist after a La Jolla woman Wednesday reported seeing people break into a local store and then take off in two black vehicles.

Mohammad Alami, owner of Shoe Repair & Leather Goods in La Jolla, Calif., discusses an alleged handbag heist at his shop on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021.

According to San Diego police, officers called the owner of Shoe Repair & Leather Goods on La Jolla Boulevard about 3:30 a.m. to inform him that someone had broken into his store and shattered the glass on his front door. When owner Mohammad Alami arrived, he said he found seven purses missing, including designer brands Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo and Chanel.

Some of the stolen bags were for sale in the shop while others were there for repairs, Alami said.

“A Louis Vuitton purse is at least to be $700,” he said. “It was in the window and they took it. I have a Jimmy Choo purse — a white purse with satin outside and leather inside — that was seven hundred and some dollars is gone. I’ve got one Chanel and one Louis Vuitton purses that I just finished last night. They’re gone.”

Alami, who has been repairing shoes and restoring designer handbags for more than 30 years, has spent more than six years at the location in La Jolla. He said he moved the business there from Pacific Beach because it seemed safer, but that he’s now been broken into twice in the past three years.

“That’s what everybody’s saying,” he said. “‘This is La Jolla. It couldn’t be happening.’ Oh, yes. It’s happening.”

Twenty months from when he plans to retire, Alami said he isn’t sure what will happen next.

“I’m a believer,” he said. “I believe in God and I said, what goes around comes around. You know, somebody did that to me. Something will happen to them one of these days. Karma will turn around and bite them.”

No description information was available for those responsible for the theft. Alami said his security cameras stopped working within the past week, so there’s no known footage of the incident.

He is working with his insurance company to determine how to potentially recoup costs.

Anyone with information about the theft can call San Diego police at 619-531-2000 or submit tips anonymously by calling San Diego County Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.

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