The Corner Closet, an upscale Sag Harbor boutique that specializes in women’s vintage couture clothing and accessories, was targeted by an unusual pair of thieves last week. Though both the robbers appeared to be women, one of them was quite tall, about six-foot four, with a deep voice and an Adam’s apple.
“It was a guy in drag,” said Seena Stromberg, who owns the store.
“They knew exactly what they were doing,” Ms. Stromberg said. “They were lightning fast. They were pros.”
The two entered the shop late on the afternoon of May 29 and began trying on clothing. When they went to pay for a couple of items, the credit card they presented was declined. It was apparently while Ms. Stromberg was speaking with one of them about the card that the other took four expensive designer handbags, two by Chanel and two by Hermes, from the display window and walked out of the shop.
After they left, Ms. Stromberg realized the bags were gone and called the police. When she checked the changing room, she found five clothes hangers hidden beneath a cabinet and began to take inventory, at which point she discovered that the duo had also made off with five dresses by Chanel and Herve Leger.
Ms. Stromberg, who worked for many years in Manhattan’s garment district, said that she keeps a sharp eye on the store, which is her pride and joy. She has seen occasional attempts at shoplifting, she said, usually by young girls. “I just tell them, give me the blouse.”
She did not discuss the value of the stolen items in a phone interview on Tuesday, but a single Hermes or Chanel handbag can go for several thousand dollars.
“I’m still waiting for the mug shots,” she said. “This is not the first time they did it. They have to get caught somewhere.”
She believes the Corner Closet was specifically targeted by the two, speculating that a third party had cased out the shop in advance. She is now installing a surveillance camera system in the store.
The village could do more to protect shop owners, Ms. Stromberg said. “Why doesn’t the village have outdoor cameras?” she wondered, asking why the burden of surveillance is placed solely on merchants.
Ms. Stromberg said police told her that the robbers may have struck another store as well, in Bridgehampton.