Break-in: The scene of the failed heist. Photo: Ben Rushton
It was to be Sydney's latest ''glam raid'' - $400,000 worth of handbags and other luxury accessories stolen from Louis Vuitton's flagship city store.
With a stolen Audi parked out the front for their getaway, three would-be thieves allegedly smashed a side door of the George Street premises just after 12.45am on Thursday to gain entry and grabbed all they could.
But in doing so they set of an alarm and within five minutes police were at the store, which was the target of a successful ram raid in February. Officers surrounded the area but it still took another hour before the three were caught.
They were allegedly found with their haul of handbags in the basement car park trying to steal another car.
Among those arrested was Bassam Hijazi, 33, a member of the Middle Eastern gang Brothers For Life, who was shot as he sat in a car in Greenacre in October. His friend and fellow Brothers For Life gang member Yehya Amoud was shot dead in the same attack.
Adam Achrafi, 18, and Naef Chaouk, 19, were also arrested over the alleged Louis Vuitton heist.
All three were charged with aggravated break, enter and steal and were refused bail when they appeared in Central Local Court on Thursday afternoon.
Detective Inspector Simon Jones of The Rocks local command praised the work of the police.
''We're excited the work that they did last night has resulted in, as I said, a quick arrest but ultimately putting three accused persons before the court fairly promptly,'' he said.
Sydney's high-end retailers have been the target of a spate of glam raids over the past year.
Kaftan queen Camilla Franks lost more than 700 garments in two raids on her Bondi store and once at Paddington last year. They were worth more than $240,000.
Italian fashion label Prada was struck last October when thieves reversed a car into its Castlereagh Street premises in the middle of the night and filled the boot with 15 racks of accessories.
Then in February came the first raid on Louis Vuitton.
Investigations into these other thefts are continuing.
A Louis Vuitton spokeswoman said the average price of the standard handbag range was between $1500 and $2000.
Exotic Brea bags made from alligator, snake and crocodile skins retailed for between $30,500 and $50,000. Made-to-order bags and one-off editions could fetch even higher prices, she said.