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CCTV shows Melbourne CBD Prada burglary

CCTV footage has been released showing burglars breaking into a Melbourne CBD Prada store early Friday morning.

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Four masked men have broken into luxury store Prada, stealing dozens of bags in what police believe was a coordinated and professional burglary in Melbourne’s CDB.

The robbers prised open the heavy security gate before smashing their way into the Collins Street shop with a sledgehammer, Detective Leading Senior Constable Heath Biram said.

"The glass was quite thick, and it would take a forceful blow for it to shatter the way it did," he said. The burglary took place early on Friday morning, with police receiving a call from a truck driver just before 4.30am.

Cleaners clear the Prada shop of glass and debris.

Cleaners clear the Prada shop of glass and debris. Photo: Paul Jeffers

Senior Constable Biram said the truck driver tried to stop the  men from escaping by blocking their way with his truck, but they drove around him and on to the tram tracks, getting away.

He said the thieves, who were covered head-to-toe in dark clothing and wearing gloves and "fancy dress masks", loaded their arms with luxury handbags and purses, "carrying literally as much as they could carry", and made several trips to the car before taking off.

"The burglary was well-planned and well-executed, and the offenders only spent minimal time in the store, about two minutes," Senior Constable Biram said.

"Based on what is in the footage, they were well-coordinated in the way they entered, and in how they went about their business inside."

CCTV footage from the street shows the four men, some of whom appear to be wearing clown masks and party hats, breaking into the shop.

Once they break the window, some of them make more than one trip into the shop before coming out with garbage and shopping bags loaded with goods.

Their getaway car can be seen parked opposite the shop but only the door appears in the frame and it is not possible to discern the make of the vehicle.

The men carry out the robbery in little more than two minutes before making their getaway.

The only vehicles that can be seen passing through the area in that time are an Acewaste truck and a couple of taxis travelling through the intersection of Collins and Exhibition streets.

The footage also shows the thieves dropping three bags in their haste to get away. Less than five minutes later, Senior Constable Biram said, footage shows a passer-by pull up in his car, grab the three bags and drive  away.

He said police were keen to speak to the man, who they believe may have witnessed the robbery and may also be charged with theft.

The crime appeared to be opportunistic, and he said it would be in the man’s "best interest to come forward and tell us so that it doesn’t become a line of inquiry that he’s related to these (first robbers)".

On Friday afternoon, Prada was still conducting an audit of  its stock, but the value of the stolen goods was estimated to be in the "tens of thousands".

The robbery follows a spate of burglaries in 2012, when Chanel and Giorgio Armani, also on Collins Street, were robbed.

Chanel’s window was smashed  with an axe in August  last year, and thieves stole bags and shoes worth thousands of dollars. Giorgio Armani was also broken into in a similar  manner.

Although there was no clear link between last year’s burglaries and Friday’s theft, Senior Constable Biram said all burglaries ‘‘seem to have been conducted in an organised and well-planned manner, at a similar location and using similar methods".

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

With Craig Butt