A gang of high-fashion thieves that reportedly included three transgender suspects robbed the Burberry clothing store in Union Square on Tuesday in a manner that has become frustratingly common in the area.
Six suspects, who merchants believe are members of the notorious Rainbow Girls gang, stormed the Post Street store about 10:20 a.m. and began grabbing the shop's pricey items.
"They then walked toward the exit without paying," Officer Gordon Shyy said.
A male employee — who told police he believed three of the robbers were transgender women, Shyy said — attempted to stop one suspect who had stolen a purse but was unsuccessful. The employee then reportedly tried to reclaim a scarf from a second suspect but was pushed away.
No one was injured, but the purse, a scarf and two wallets were taken. The total value of the items was not disclosed but police officials said they were not cheap.
All six suspects then fled on foot eastbound on Post Street. A witness reported seeing them enter a silver SUV that was parked about a block away from the Burberry store, Shyy said.
As of Wednesday, no suspects were in custody, Shyy added.
A manager at the Burberry site said she could not comment on the incident in detail, but did disclose that the employee was not injured and added that the thieves appeared to be members of the Rainbow Girls, who are known to target Union Square shops.
"It's pretty much what every other store is going through," said the manager, who requested to remain anonymous.
The gang of shoplifters in their late teens and early 20s are reportedly called the Rainbow Girls because they often dress and dye their hair in bright colors.
One of the suspects in Tuesday's incident wore a yellow jacket and another a purple jacket, Shyy said. Two others wore all gray and all black, and the employee did not get a good look at the final two robbers.
On Wednesday, a merchant at a separate store in the 200 block of Post Street who requested anonymity said she'd heard about the heist soon after it happened. Businesses are so fed up with the thieves, they warn each other every time the group strikes in the hopes that they will be caught.