DETROIT (WXYZ) — Detroit Police Chief James White has said that his department would be relentless in pursuing all criminal activity in the city and members of DPD's Organized Crime Division put that mission on fully display Thursday, showing hundreds of items that would be logged into evidence after busting a bootleg designer handbag operation.
"We saw one that said Made in Italy, but it had Chinese writing on the back," said Sgt. Williams who works undercover in the Vice unit.
The brands ripped off include Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Burberry, Chanel, and Dolce & Gabbana.
And while a lot of fake goods for sale can be found online these days, the suspect in DPD's case drew attention to themselves by going old school, parking a box truck near a gas station on 8 Mile Road near Meyers, and setting up tables to display handbags, wallets, and belts that police said were all counterfeit.
"People may think this is a petty crime but it's not," said Organized Crime Lieutenant Dana Russell.
Lt. Russell said they are thankful to the citizen who reported the anonymous tip and she remarked on the phenomenal work done by undercover vice officers after receiving it.
An expert in authenticating brand name items was called in to verify that the 681 items seized were counterfeit.
"Louis Vuitton has a zero-tolerance policy to counterfeiting following its respect for creativity and protection of intellectual property," the company wrote on their website regarding brand protection. "Preserving the creativity and the rights of designers, artists and brands is vital to their long-term survival. One of the biggest threats to that survival today is counterfeiting.."
For now, the suspect was issued a citation for failing to obtain a vendor's license.
The investigation into serious charges is ongoing.