Friday, March 5, 2010

The Great Perfume Robbery: A Million Dollar Drydown

[Original photo by Leif Knutsen]

Something didn’t smell right about this case from the beginning: a heist during working hours; multiple trucks to carry off looted perfume; day laborers brought along as muscle; and fifteen of them left at the scene locked in one of the trucks.

Now it turns out the trucks were rented in Jersey City under the true names of the perps—among them two NYPD cops and a former cop. Not only that, they allegedly
burst into the warehouse and yelled, “NYPD! Hands up!” while waving guns and displaying badges. Other co-conspirators allegedly helped them tie up about 11 warehouse employees while a group of day laborers who had been recruited by the robbers began to load the trucks.

One of the robbers allegedly told the employees that they were performing a routine inspection of the storage facility on behalf of the NYPD.
Hand over the Dolce & Gabbana and no one gets hurt!

The three cops and two other men were indicted in federal court in Newark, New Jersey today on charges of conspiracy to commit armed robbery. At the time of the robbery police estimated the value of the stolen perfume at $50,000.

Prosecutors now put the figure at $1,000,000.


Nathan Branch said...

I love how the damages figure leaped from $50,000 to $1,000,000. Methinks that some creative accounting was employed in order to extract the maximum jail time.

Not that there's anything wrong with that . . .

+ Q Perfume Blog said...

Maybe we will have to rethink the expression "something smells bad".... to
"something smells D&G...when...."

i kiss you and wish you a wonderful weekend! :-)

+ Q Perfume Blog said...

P.s.: your photo is back!!! Thank you!!! :-)

EdC said...

I guess a $50 bottle becomes worth $1,000 when you attach a good story to it. I think the warehouse owners should pay the robbers at least $1000 each for their services.

BitterGrace said...

This is the third or fourth big perfume robbery I've read about in recent years, and I have to wonder what percentage of the stuff makes its way to legit sellers. How often are those bargain bottles from etailers really hot?

Avery Gilbert said...

Nathan Branch:

I seem to recall $50,000 being the threshold for making it into federal court. Is this why there are federal charges instead of a New Jersey criminal case?

Maybe it's like a drug bust, when authorities inflate the significance by citing "street value" of the contraband. Just the kilos, please.

Are the prosecutors using wholesale or retail valuation? How many bottles, please?

Avery Gilbert said...

+Q Perfume:

Our only goal is please you.

Avery Gilbert said...


Suspicious minds ask: What if the owners already paid the robbers? (We're talking New Jersey here . . .)

Plus: What sort of perfume warehouse has eleven employees on site at 6:30 pm?

I predict the case gets weirder yet.

Avery Gilbert said...


Gray/black market is a huge headache for the industry. Overseas sales and returns open up a lot of space for shady operators.