Little Five Points boutique target of snatch-and-grab

Atlanta Police Department spokesman office Eric Schwartz said the men had white T-shirts covering their faces when they broke through the glass of Wish at 4:20 a.m. Saturday and swiftly pillaged the Moreland Avenue store.

Video recording to the looting also captured images of the men driving away in a Silver Chrysler Sebring and a white Jeep Cherokee.

Schwartz said the bandits took clothes but he couldn't be more specific because he had not see a report on the break-in. "I don't know what all they got," Schwartz said.

Less than 24 hours earlier, APD officials had called a news conference to show off some of the evidence they had collected in other gang-run snatch-and-grab cases— high-end jeans, designer shirts and name-brand pants and shorts.

Sgt. Archie Ezell said APD's initiative in its first month had resulted in the arrests of almost 20 gang members, some of them for snatch-and-grab robberies they carried out after smashing windows of closed stores, driving trucks through protective gates and overpowering retail clerks in the middle of the day.

In one of those instances, three adults and eight juveniles were arrested in the backyard of southeast Atlanta house. Police found 11 people there on July 1, removing the tags from shirts and hundreds of pairs of jeans that had a total value of $10,000.

Such crimes seem to be increasing and they are wearing down businesses already trying to survive the economy.

Last year, the problem was so bad APD created a task force that focused on the so-called "Blue Jean Bandits. " These bandits rampaged through high-end fashion stores and carried off high-priced denim.

The spree seemed to die down late last year but picked up again this spring.

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