Man busted for thefts from designer stores

Kate Spade (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

At least he had good taste.

Police have arrested a man they believe broke into multiple high-end boutiques in Manhattan to steal pricey handbags, including at the Kate Spade store in Flatiron.

Jessie Brandon, 52, was arrested for burglary, grand larceny and possession of stolen property on November 7 after he allegedly stole more than $75,000 worth of merchandise.

Brandon allegedly broke into the Kate Spade location at 135 Fifth Avenue on Sunday, October 15 around 2:20 a.m. when the store was closed. Police said he pulled on the door, breaking it, before entering and helping himself to seven handbags, as well as a pair of shoes. Police said Brandon admitted that the person on surveillance video who could be seen removing items from the store was him. An employee told police that the value of the stolen merchandise was $1,700.

Police caught up with Brandon on November 7 around 10:50 p.m. after he allegedly broke into the Frye Company store at 113 Spring Street in SoHo. Police said that Brandon broke the door of the business while it was closed, entered while carrying an empty bag and left the store a few minutes later with the bag full of merchandise. He was allegedly in possession of multiple handbags with Frye tags on them when he was arrested and police said that the value of the items was $2,700.

Including these two incidents, five of the six thefts took place since September of this year, but police said that Brandon was also responsible for a burglary in 2014 on the Upper East Side. Surveillance video allegedly showed Brandon allegedly carrying handbags away from VBH Luxury, a store at 940 Madison Avenue that has since closed, on January 19, 2014. Police said that a window had been broken at 10:15 that night while the store was closed and a bag and a brick were left behind. A detective said that the bag was tested for DNA and the results matched Brandon. Police said that three handbags were stolen from this store and the value of the items was $35,000.

The first theft police said that Brandon committed this year occurred inside a business formerly located at 57 Greene Street in SoHo on September 20 around 3:45 a.m. Police said that Brandon broke the door and entered the business, which was closed at the time, and took several jackets from the store before leaving. No further information was available about which store was in this location at the time of the theft, but police said that the stolen items were worth approximately $21,000. Brandon also allegedly confirmed that the still from the surveillance photo is him.

Police said that Brandon also broke into a Theory at 47 Greene Street on October 6 at midnight, breaking the door of the business to get inside. Brandon allegedly stole multiple coats from the store that police said were worth $14,000. Brandon allegedly also broke into the Hugo Boss store at 132 Greene Street later that month on October 20 at 10:30 p.m. and stole two jackets, one bag and a pair of boots from the store, valued at $2,300.  Police said Brandon confirmed that he is the person in the surveillance video in these two incidents as well.

Town & Village originally reported on Brandon’s arrest in last week’s police blotter. Brandon’s lawyer did not have a comment on the case.

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