San Francisco vintage clothing store owner charged with illegal fur sales

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Here is KTVU crime reporter Henry Lee's Rap Sheet blog for March 22, 2017:

CLOTHING STORE OWNER CHARGED - A San Francisco vintage clothing-store owner whose business was raided last year has been charged with illegally selling coats from endangered species like the ocelot and snow leopard.

Cicely Ann Hansen, 68, who runs Decades of Fashion on Haight Street, has been charged with nine misdemeanor counts of illegal possession for sale of an endangered species.

"Individuals who traffic in these goods must be held accountable to eliminate a market that contributes to these species’ demise," District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement."There’s no second chance once these animals are gone."

The investigation began when an anonymous tipster reported illegal fur sales at the business, authorities said. Two state Department of Fish and Wildlife wardens posing as customers went to the store and tried on a jaguar coat worth $4,500 and an ocelot coat worth $850, investigators said.

Two weeks later, on Feb. 25, 2016, state and federal wildlife officials served a search warrant at the shop and seized more than 150 items, including clothing and accessories from dead sea turtles, cheetahs, leopards, ocelots, jaguars, seals, pythons and snow leopards.

Hansen surrendered March 1 and made her first court of appearance Wednesday at the Hall of Justice. She will return to court April 17.

The store specializes in selling vintage clothing from the Victorian Era through the 1980s.

Its website says, "Our location is convenient for shoppers who appreciate the ultimate value and quality of vintage clothing, not to mention the positive impact buying vintage has for our environment. Buying vintage is like a treasure hunt."

According to San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, a law went into effect in 2016 that made it a misdemeanor to possess items made from endangered animal with the intent to sell.

Cecily Hansen spoke to KTVU outside of the courtroom where she said she is a preservationist, not a poacher.

“This is not intentional,” Hansen said.

You can see Henry Lee daily on KTVU. If you have a tip for Henry, send an email to Henry.Lee@foxtv.com or contact him on Twitter

 
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