SAN FRANCISCO - The Yves Saint Laurent store at San Francisco's Union Square has been hit by robbers three times over the past month.
The most recent case began when the store's security guard was attacked a little after 5 p.m. Nov. 9, less than an hour before closing time.
"A male suspect entered the store and struck the victim," said Officer Robert Rueca, a San Francisco Police Department spokesman.
The man held down the guard. The intruder wasn’t alone.
"Then several other suspects entered the store and did their deed. They came in to steal the store merchandise, all as one group," Rueca said.
The store manager said the robbers grabbed about 20 purses and handbags worth $54,000. The robbers, three men and two women, took off in an SUV.
The holdup happened even though the store keeps its front doors locked and security lets customers in one at a time.
"That has to do with the COVID, but in this case, it also helps control the theft," Rueca said.
Police say the store did everything right with respect to security, and that the robbers took advantage of their protocol.
Officers say in these types of incidents witnesses shouldn't engage.
"We know that property can be replaced," Rueca said. "Injuries are much harder to recover from, versus merchandise or inventory that can be replaced."
The store has been hit twice before in recent months.
Last year, thieves backed an SUV into the store three times before dawn. Then they stole expensive heels and handbags, including some that retail for $2,600 apiece.
Police are scouring some of Union Square's 400 surveillance cameras for video of this latest robbery. There are other security measures in place throughout the busy commercial district. Some stores have overnight guards and others use cables to secure their merchandise.