By Brea Douglas and Frank O’Laughlin
More than $11.3 million in counterfeit goods, like Gucci, Prada, Luis Vuitton and Chanel were recently seized from a hybrid storage facility (feature self-storage and vehicle storage) in Shrewsbury, Mass., law enforcement officials announced Tuesday.
Security analyst and former superintendent in chief of Boston Police Dan Linskey says operations like this are prevalent. “It is happening everywhere, it is a multibillion-dollar industry with knockoff goods,” says Linskey.
Aside from the issue of illegally selling knockoffs, the incident reminds self-storage and RV and boat storage operators to ensure the tightest of security standards at their sites. In addition to technologically advanced security gates, which will track the comings and goings of tenants, security cameras can go a long way toward solving criminal theft. In addition, the presence of these features can deter criminals from even entering a facility.
Officers responded to a report of multiple gunshots in the area and began searching the property of the “Extra Space Storage” facility on Clinton Street in an effort to track down the source of the gunfire, according to the Shrewsbury Police Department.
The investigation led officers to a storage unit, where they found thousands of items of merchandise neatly displayed on shelves, tables and boxes, and laid out in a manner “similar to how they would be displayed in a retail store for sale,” police said.
Police said officers observed knockoff handbags, sunglasses, hats, shoes, clothing, backpacks, cologne, phone cases, earbuds and umbrellas from high-end brands including Rolex, Gucci, Prada, Luis Vuitton, Chanel, Nike and North Face.
A subsequent search of the storage unit revealed that the interior wall of three adjoining units had been removed to essentially create a usable space equal to three units, according to police.
After turning to Powers and Associates for assistance, a group that represents over 60 trademark holders, officers and detectives collected 16,644 counterfeit items worth an estimated $11.3 million dollars from the storage units. An additional 19 items worth nearly $45,000 were taken from two vehicles that were parked near the units.
Linskey says there is a way to know if something is counterfeit.
“If it is too good to be true, it is probably counterfeit,” says Linskey.
Extra Space Storage would not do an interview, but said the company is “supporting police on their investigation.”
Meanwhile, police are still looking into this incident and no suspects have been identified at this time.
This is a developing story from Boston 25 News App.