Police still looking for leads in high end purse robbery at outlet mall

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CHESTERFIELD, MO (KTVI) - Police in Chesterfield continue searching for the three women who stormed through a designer store Saturday night, running over a young boy as they ran out with several thousand dollars’ worth of high-end purses.

The “strong armed robbery,” as police are calling it, happened at the Kate Spade store inside the St. Louis Premium Outlets, Saturday night.

Police say this might normally have been a simple theft or shoplifting case, but the three women escalated things quickly.

“Our assumed intent on these people was to steal,” Chesterfield Police Captain Steve Lewis said in an interview Monday.  “In this particular case there were some people who got between them and the exit.  So by them fleeing, their arms were full of purses, they were pushing people out-of-the-way, clerks, in this particular case an eleven-year-old boy was pushed to the ground as they tried to leave the area.  That’s what classifies this as a robbery.”

The women took off in a white Chevrolet Malibu with Pennsylvania license plates.  Despite the out-of-state tags, however, police suspect the robbers are local.  Lewis suggests they could have stolen the plates, or fraudulently rented the getaway car.  But it’s still one of the leads they’re running down.

“We had a license plate associated with that vehicle.  We’re probably going to be able to track down a name associated with that license plate.  That will be someone we’ll want to talk to,” Lewis said.

Monday, St. Louis Premium Outlets representatives were saying little, declining an on camera interview and refusing to let reporters onto the property.  They issued a brief statement aimed at reassuring customers about the safety of the property.

“The safety of our shoppers and employees is our top priority and we will continue to support the efforts of the local police department,” the email from spokesperson Gabby Deitsch read.  It referred all other questions to Chesterfield police.

Police suggest this case got more attention than others like it because it happened in the affluent Chesterfield suburb, and insist shoppers should have no worries about this being any kind of pattern.

“We feel that our stores and our malls and all of our shopping areas are as safe as any in the country.   We don’t typically have this brazen of a shoplifting example,” Lewis said.  “Obviously the mall doesn’t want people to think it is unsafe to shop here, and I can say unequivocally it’s not unsafe to shop here.  Chesterfield provides great, safe shopping as do most of the area malls.”