For the second time in about a month, early-morning smash-and-grab burglars March 12 struck Filene’s Basement, the Buckhead store famous for its annual “Running of the Brides” discount bridal dress sale.
The bad news is that the store seems to be a prime target for smash-and-grab thieves these days. The good news is that the store’s management did not intend to let the burglaries interfere with the annual bridal event March 20.
Hundreds of eager brides and their friends and relatives were expected to camp out at the store to be among the first in line for the mad rush to buy designer bridal gowns that originally fetched $900 to $10,000 for as little as $249.
The March 12 burglary at Filene’s, in the 3500 block of Peachtree Road, was reported shortly before 4 a.m., according to Atlanta police.
Security video showed about five people entering the store and leaving with “large amounts of adult and children’s clothing” after breaking out a window. Police said the thieves were in and out in under two minutes.
On Feb. 10, thieves used a brick to break out a front door about 2:15 a.m. and stole an estimated $15,000 worth of designer men’s clothes.
A rash of similar burglaries plagued high-end clothing boutiques across metro Atlanta last year as “blue jean bandits” targeted designer jeans and other items, rushing through stores, grabbing everything they could and making a speedy retreat.
Because of the economy, Filene’s Basement spokeswoman Patricia Boudrot has said Filene’s customers are even more fanatical about this year’s bridal sale.
She said the store always hires an extensive security detail for the sale, and an Atlanta detective is assigned every year. She said she is surprised that smash-and-grab burglaries can keep happening on one of the highest-profile corners in Atlanta.
But Boudrot joked: “Do you really think those brides are going to let a robber anywhere near those bridal gowns?” Those brides may be the store’s best security for now.
— John Schaffner