RAW VISION: Camilla Franks' boutique robbed
Police officers were called to the Camilla boutique after her on Oxford Street, Paddington store was ram raided.PT0M30S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-26imn 620 349 September 25, 2012
With fans such as Oprah Winfrey, Lily Allen, Beyonce and a posse of reality stars, kaftan queen Camilla Franks's designs are highly coveted.
And that popularity may be the reason the taste for the Australian designer's brightly coloured and intricately patterned kaftans also extends to ram-raiders.
Police investigate a ram-raid robbery on Camilla Franks's store in Paddington. Photo: Quentin Jones
Police said officers were called to the Camilla boutique on Oxford Street, Paddington, before midnight yesterday after reports a dark car had reversed into the front window.
This is the third time one of Franks's Sydney boutiques has been robbed in as many weeks. Her Bondi store was raided by thieves last Monday morning and the week before.
Police said they were monitoring eBay sales and customs for the garments stolen in the previous two raids.
Camilla Franks's store in Paddington was ram-raided last night. Photo: Quentin Jones
Franks's publicist, Sally Burleigh, said hundreds of garments from her latest collection, worth tens of thousands of dollars, were stolen last night.
Ms Burleigh said the brand, which includes pieces that can retail for up to $1000, had received a huge amount of publicity during Fashion Week, which may have attracted the thieves.
"It's a world-recognised, global brand. But we don't understand why Camilla is specifically being targeted at this time.
"The first break-in [was] a shock to everybody, but we just got on with it and thought it was a random attack.
"The second one was clearly out of the blue. To have this happen overnight is very devastating, so it's very hard for all of us to understand why it's happening."
In the early hours of last Monday morning two men wearing balaclavas, gloves and hoodies drove a high-performance car to the Camilla boutique on Warners Avenue, Bondi.
One man smashed the windows with a sledgehammer and took jeans and dresses from the shop, before speeding off in a dark-coloured Audi or Mercedes, police said.
Officers from Rose Bay later chased the car on New South Head Road, Edgecliff, before it drove towards the Cross City Tunnel.
The robbers were described as having solid builds. One was about 180 centimetres tall and the other was 165-170 centimetres tall.
The store was also targeted in the early hours of September 10.
"They were very similar incidents; they smashed through the front," a NSW Police spokesman said.
Surry Hills police duty officer Inspector Stephen Crews said detectives were investigating the links between the three robberies and had some strong leads.
They would also look into why Franks was being targeted.
"The detectives are speaking with people involved with the company today and that's certainly what we'll be asking them."
The Paddington store was boarded up before police arrived about 10am to examine the scene and dust for fingerprints.
Piles of green glass covered the floor, while merchandise and store decorations and clothes racks were strewn around.
Racks at the front of the shop were almost empty, with only one or two dresses left hanging or dumped on the ground.
Anyone with information is asked to phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.