Police say they have recovered $17,000 in Kate Spade purses that were stolen from the outlet mall in Simpsonville.
Three people have been charged with receiving stolen property in connection with the thefts.
Taylorsville Police Chief Phil Crumpton said a maintenance man at the The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass had keys to a vacant storefront that was being used for storage by the Kate Spade store.
Crumpton said police in Taylorsville and Simpsonville began an investigation about three weeks ago, after receiving a tip that purses were being taken from the outlet and sold to individuals and pawn shops in Taylorsville. Proceeds from the sales were being used to help support a heroin addiction, he said.
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“These purses are not out yet,” Crumpton said. “Kate Spade really didn’t know they were missing.”
Early Monday morning, police searched two houses and a car, which had a box of new purses inside, Crumpton said.
Those charged with receiving stolen property over $10,000 are Aaron Bruner, 42, who Crumpton said worked at the outlet mall; Courtney Chesher, 24, and Marlon Hill, 28, all of Taylorsville. They were taken to the Shelby County Detention Center.
He said more charges are pending in Shelby and Spencer counties.
Crumpton said about 95 percent of the purses that were stolen have been recovered.