PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Louis Vuitton logo is claimed to be the fashion world’s first “designer label.”

It was created to prevent counterfeiting of the Parisian company’s products. It hasn’t worked.

Nowadays, Louis Vuitton is “the most” counterfeited brand. It’s estimated that only one percent of Vuitton items out there are the real deal.

The “L-V” is synonymous with luxury and ageless elegance. The handbags are carried by celebs and socialites, and if you have to ask how much they cost, you probably can’t afford one.

On Thursday evening, a number of the pricey handbags, investigators won’t say how many, were stolen from the Louis Vuitton store at Ross Park Mall.

“Five people who came into the store around eight o’clock,” according to Detective Brian Kohlhepp, of the Ross Township Police Department.

Working together, the crew of thieves – both men and women – swept into the store located near Nordstrom and Tiffany’s and grabbed handbags off the displays.

“All appear to be younger – all are in their 20s or 30s,” said Detective Kohlhepp, “all appeared to be of African American descent.”

By the time employees realized what was going on it was too late.

“They were confronted by store employees as they left the store,” Detective Kohlhepp added. “They did get into a car and fled the mall.”

No one was harmed, but the handbag heist was blindingly fast.

“Based on the surveillance video, the total time was under 30 seconds,” Detective Kohlhepp said.

Police are working with Louis Vuitton corporate headquarters to determine if the thieves are local or part of a retail theft ring.

“They do have an impressive intelligence system, both through other Louis Vuitton stores and similar merchants, because they are targets of the same groups,” said Detective Kohlhepp.

If you have any information about the theft, please contact Ross Township Police at 412-931-9070.

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