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Thief snaps up $900,000 crocodile jacket

Police are investigating how a man managed to undress a mannequin and walk out of a Burberry store in Tsim Sha Tsui with a HK$900,000 crocodile-skin jacket.

The theft was discovered when staff were taking stock after business closed just before midnight on Wednesday.

A staffer, surnamed Lam, 31, checked the store’s CCTV and saw a man taking the crocodile jacket from a mannequin.

Police said the man is in his 30s to 40s, fit and about 1.65 meters tall.

He was wearing a dark coat, pants, cap and backpack.

Police said the , size-48 jacket arrived at the store several days ago and had not been fitted with a security device.

Each floor in the three-story Burberry store at 30 Canton Road has at least two exits. Leather products are sold on the ground floor while women’s and men’s clothing are on the first and second floors.

It is believed the shop assistants were busy serving other customers at the time.

A source said three to four staff normally serve each floor and it is difficult to keep an eye on every product, especially if the store is filled with customers.

There are two kinds of crocodile jackets on display at Burberry’s official websites – a HK$960,000 Belted Alligator Caban and a HK$995,000 Alligator Trench Coat.

Security was stepped up at the shop after the incident, with expensive jackets – including one priced at HK$1.1 million – fitted with strips of metal cable.

Fashion designer Dorian Ho said crocodiles are protected animals and consequently their skins are expensive.

“Crocodile jackets are usually made using the softer leather around the stomach area,” he said.

He said long jackets need to be made using the skin of a whole crocodile. (The Standard)