Police: Thieves use credit cards in $9,000 purse stolen from pricey Kenmore Square hotel to buy groceries at Dorchester supermarket

Boston University Police report that sometime between 9:45 and 10:15 p.m. on July 21, a patron at the Island Creek Oyster Bar in the Hotel Commonwealth in Kenmore Square discovered that her $9,000 Louis Vuitton purse was missing.

Police have identified three women as "persons of interest" and report that two of them used one of the credit card's in the victims purse that same night to buy some essentials at the South Bay Stop & Shop. Click on the link for a number of photos of the three.

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How Come

BU police are on the case for something that happened at the Commonwealth Hotel?

If I had a card stolen, I'd be a little less mad seeing groceries purchased from it. Just a little less, but at least the person ain't blowing it on electronics or scratch tickets.

What BU owns

From the hotel to Packards Corner, I am pretty sure it is all BU on both sides of the road...

Except for a single brownstone containing Louie's and University Grill near BU Central.

Upscale Purse Snatching

Anecdotally, this sort of crime seems to be on the rise. This happened to one of my husband's associates when she was dining at the Liberty Hotel - her purse was taken from the back of her chair by a well-dressed "patron", who ran when noticed. At least she had her phone and could immediately flag her credit cards ...

I suspect that, for the somewhat smarter thief, the spoils make it worth dressing up and sneaking around in places where people might feel it less necessary to guard their pricy stuff.

I'm not saying

it deserves to be stolen, but it deserves to be stolen.

For the life of me, why does anyone pay $8,980.00 in brand, for a $20 purse?

If you're gonna blow money, at least spend it on something a little more in line with it's production cost.

Nobody needs a $10K bike, either

But I sure would love one. ;-)

Nobody needs a Mercedes S550, a Ferrari F12, a Rolls, a $10 million house, etc.

Face it, some people make more money than others - in some cases, a LOT more money - and they get to spend it on frivolous things like $9k purses. Oh well. Maybe she bought it at a charity auction. Maybe she donates hundreds of thousands of dollars, or millions, to charity every year.
My point? Please don't judge someone just because they seem to have some bucks.
Thanks.

Tell me

What is it about the purse that makes it 8900 dollars better than a regular purse? At least people can see a difference in comfort and performance in a mercedes, or the size of a 10 million dollar house.

You got me

What is it about the purse that makes it 8900 dollars better than a regular purse?

No idea, but what difference does it make? I certainly wouldn't buy a $9K purse for my wife, but somebody with the cash wanted one - so what? That's over $540 of sales tax to our Commonwealth, assuming they bought it here.

When does a particular purchase go from a sensible purchase to an absurd purchase? Is a $100 purse OK? $200? $500? Tell me when.

Obviously this isn't a functional purchase, so "better" isn't applicable. We're talking "fashion" here, where people with the bucks will spend all sorts of cash for something. I say let them and not let it get to you. There's better things to get all worked up about.

It's like the audiophile

It's like the audiophile hobby. There are cables that cost tens of thousands of dollars. What makes them better then $30 Radio Shack cables?
It reminds me of an anecdote I've read a while ago and I'm paraphrasing here: A man was on a flight and found himself seated next to the President of Rolex. The man turned to the President and said "so Mr. so and so, how is the watch business?" The president replied "I wouldn't know, I'm in the luxury business." So you see the woman who buys the 9k purse or the man who buys the 35k audio cable isn't necessarily paying for the actual value of the products but the prestige of owning them.

heh

It's like the audiophile hobby. There are cables that cost tens of thousands of dollars. What makes them better then $30 Radio Shack cables?

Gullibility and ignorance.

If you are an audiophile into the newest tech, everything is digital now. 1 and 0's either get there, or they don't. Cables, with some minor exception when running very long distances, are all the same as long as they work. Legacy analogue is different, but there still a lot of overkill there.

http://www.monoprice.com is worth it, unless you need something in a pinch. In which case Radio-shack will gladly sell you 300% marked up merchandise. BestBuy? More like 3-5,000.

Heh

"Show me someones accounting ledgers, and I'll tell you who that person is"

At least with a Ferrari a lot of the added costs come from meticulous custom fabrication. And in the end, if well taken care of, it'll appreciate in value faster than inflation.

Donation to charity is nice and all, but let's not beat around the bush that most donation by the rich is done for tax purposes. They don't go around buying up ranches and putting in llama farms just for kicks either.

Anyways, that's just me being a grump. I'm not a big fan of stuff for stuffs sake. $10K could have bought you scuba licensing, all the equipment you need to get started, and a summers worth of dives and memories.

(or one easy bet with Mitt Romney)

Gee, different people like different things

I knew I'd ruffle some feathers with that comment. I find it amazing how rich people can piss people off for the simple fact that they have money. That's pretty shallow.

$10K could have bought you scuba licensing, all the equipment you need to get started, and a summers worth of dives and memories.

No argument here. I would absolutely encourage someone to blow their money on something like scuba. It's a great experience.

Meanwhile, there's a lot of people that think scuba would be one of the dumbest things in the world, and that the money could have been spent on Hummels. Or guns. Or whatever. Somebody decided to buy a purse with it, and for whatever reason, derives pleasure from it. So what? Maybe this purse is the Ferrari of purses. You or I wouldn't buy one, even if we had a ton of money, but this person did.

but let's not beat around the bush that most donation by the rich is done for tax purposes.

That's a crock.

Hummels!

That made me LOL!

As a girl who does NOT understand the whole fancy purse fetish but DOES understand the really-nice-$600-boots thing, I agree--each to their own. I can think of a dozen different ways I'd spend $9000 if I had it. I'd be more inclined towards the scuba gear or a nice little sailboat, but the rich are different from you and me. $9000 would buy maybe the right hind leg of Ann Romney's horse. That said, if you gave ten people $100, they'd all spend it in different ways.

Prove it

Actually, while you're right that Kerry didn't cheat, you're not right to claim that what Harry Reid said isn't true. We have no proof of the validity of his claim at all.

You may not like unprovable accusations, but that's a far cry from claiming Reid is lying or has stated something untrue. For all we know, it's absolutely true...or not.

Kerry didn't cheat?

Kaz, I don't understand why you are washing up for Kerry. He probably tried to avoid taxes but he got to do a "my bad" only because it became a PR problem for him before it became a legal issue. I realize that there is a question of intent here and that he may have eventually berthed it in MA and paid. However if you remember his initial defense was some rigamarole about who actually owned the vessel, so I am not convinced he would have taken that tack.

By the letter of the law

he didn't, because of where the boat was operated and owned from.

Yes, it was a PR disaster, but much in the same way Mitt Romneys tax returns are going to look when he's finally forced to release them.

They might be 100% legal, but the "right thing to do" isn't always the the "right way to limit your tax liability". And that's where the rub lies, which I agree with.

I was amused that he wrote the state a check for money not owed. It would have looked better if he made a donation to a local non-profit or hospital in that amount, while reiterating he did nothing wrong. Then turned the discussion on needing to close these loopholes and tax laws written for the super rich.

The electorate loves a winner. They don't like convoluted explanations and tail tucking.

Because cheating means something

Romney and Marriott's Son of BOSS scandal was a tax cheat.

Choosing to berth your boat in Rhode Island because they don't charge taxes on it like they do in MA isn't a tax cheat. It's a dodge, but dodging isn't illegal unless he was always sailing it to Boston Harbor "for the day" (every day) or something. If he left it in RI and just went down there to take it out on trips, then there's nothing wrong with that.

Taking advantage of tax loopholes isn't the problem, the loopholes are. Flat out faking your taxes to cheat the system is a problem directly though.

I don't remember mentioning Romney

I really do not have an understanding of the lifestyles of the rich, so perhaps I should not speculate, but this does not pass the "sniff test" for me. Perhaps one would have their employees pilot the yacht to Nantucket/Boston so it is ready for use when the owner gets there. So maybe that does not count. There were reports (in the Herald) that the vessel had been sighted in Nantucket waters before the PR flare up. You may make a distinction between a dodge and a cheat, but the Mass DOR was seeking out MA boat owners who used this gambit. I liken it to MA residents with Virginia auto registration for years and years.
I wonder where the vessel is berthed now that it's legal tender. Perhaps that is an indication of what his intentions were? I can not believe I am spending time on this, I respect you Kaz, but I think you are trying do a re-write here.
John

typically

in the world of the rich and famous, while they own jets and yachts, they're also investments. They rent them out out others and make a buck on them, then also have them for their own special occasions. Much like someone might have a summer home, but rent it when not in use.

This one and it's crew was based out of providence, and while Kerry did use it up here, his use wasn't it's "main use".

All in all it's just another BS example of how tax laws are written for the rich and famous over the rest of the plebs. Legally Kerry is in the clear, because someone before him decided to get this sort of crap put into law, and tax accountants use it to legally skate taxes.

Kerry isn't even that bad if you want to talk about skating responsibilities. Next time you're down by the harbor hotel check out John Henry's super yacht (the Iroquois), it's registered and sails under the Cayman Islands flag. One guess ow much he's paying MA in taxes for it, even though it sits in Boston Harbor 2/3 the year.

That's simply the way boats are taxed

Yeah, bit of a thread drift, and it's my fault.

Anyways, that's the way documented boats are taxed - where they reside. Plain and simple. If your boat is documented as being from Wilmington DE (that's a big one), and resides in Boston harbor most of the time, MA has the right to collect taxes from it. There's kind of a grey area about how long a boat has to reside somewhere before the state can claim taxes, and there's a lot of battles with this. But this isn't the case with Kerry's boat. He got screwed and it was a PR mess.

A $9K purse is a Veblen good

Its value is that it is expensive. It allows the consumer to conspicuously say, "I can afford this".

Ever tasted shark fin? It's basically a flavorless hunk of cartilage, gets any sensory benefit (beyond its texture, which is what you would expect from a hunk of cartilage) from the broth in which it is served. But it is expensive, allows the buyer to flaunt his wealth, or offer an honored guest a lavish gift.

Unfortunately, demand for shark fin has led to the horrific practice of finning: you catch the shark, saw off its big fins, then throw it back into the ocean to die a horrible death on the sea floor, as the rest of its body isn't worth the trouble of transporting back to land. So, some luxury goods are more harmful than others.

This just shows

the suburbanization of this city. It seems like Boston, in recent years, has become an outgrowth of the W suburbs: a little Winchester, Weston and Wellesley for you. Lily Pulitzer everywhere!

Whether the victim actually lives here (and used to live in the W towns) or was in for a night of fine dining for a few hours from Wellesly/Winchester/Weston, the suburban mindset of those communities, in which one can leave an expensive (or moderately-priced) handbag swinging off the back of a chair in a restaurant, should not apply in an urban environment. I don't know of any of my friends who would ever do this in NY or London or Chicago or any big city. Instead, they would hold their handbags on their laps, or else keep them under their tables in front of their feet. Some even use those ridiculous-looking (but practical) "handbag hooks" so they can dangle their bags within their visual frame and at hand's reach.

Sorry, don't have much sympathy for such a naive fool.

Sorry NotWhitey, You didn't

Sorry NotWhitey,

You didn't get my point. That's quite a leap there from saying people should be more careful in a city than in a sleepy, safe, rich suburb (my point) to your ridiculous comment equating what I said with what you said about people living in cities must be thieves, etc.

My guess is that there's a lot more crime of this type in Boston than in Winchester. Sorry if that offends you, but its pretty clear.

Actually ...

If you know somebody who works in an upscale restaurant in Winchester or even the Capitol Grill in Burlington, you would know that isn't true. Smart thieves go for the best payoff to risk ratio they can find.