Friday, June 6, 2008

Chasing lingerie, hidden cameras and more

It's been a busy day in the Akron newsroom .. or at least from the few minutes I've spent here.

I chased info on the theft of 113 super-duper bras valued at more than $5,000 from the Victoria Secret store at Belden Village Mall. Turns out, police reports show that that same store has been struck at least five times in the last 18 months. A year ago, the bad guys (or gals) took nearly 500 pieces totally $16,000 in merchandise. Another time, the target was 150 pink thongs. (Can I just say, what the heck do you do with 150 pink thongs anyway??)

The story has drawn chuckles and smart remarks all day in our Cleveland newsroom as you might imagine. My favorite is the idea that when police catch these guys, they'll make a big "bust."

Anyway .. what seems like a punch-line or an easy draw for a "teasable" story is a symptom of a larger problem. There have been heists like this from coast-to-coast. VS stores burgled for hundreds of panties and/or braziers at at time. Obviously, no one targets that many of one item unless there's a market for it somewhere. Many guess that it's Ebay, but who knows ...

As fate would have it .. a source tipped me to another investigation involving another store at Belden Village. A photo shop that focuses on kids' photos was under investigation after an employee claims he found a hidden camera in the bathroom/changing area. So I picked up that report too and headed for the mall.

We managed to get some video of the mall before the security guards tossed us out .. and the VS ladies were very nice and gave me a 1-800 # for their corporate office, which still has not called back to comment. Ever find it odd that even when you try to do a story that would seemingly help a company's image, that they still ignore the press? A story about the increased security that VS is now taking could help get the bad guys to head for a different store .. couldn't it? Other stores that do comment tell us so ... but not VS.

As for the hidden camera, the store employees are towing the company line but saying they are cooperating with police. Sources tell me that polygraphs are now involved, so this one is getting heated. I hated to break the story in the form of a 20-second reader on the 6 p.m. news, but to wait would probably open the door for a crafty Stark County print reporter to break the story .. and I can't have that now can I?

My colleague, Dave Summers is attempting to get more on this for our 11 p.m. news.

Off to NewsNight Akron ...

1 comment:

SinlessTouch said...

whew, that must have been one hell of a day in the newsroom. Anyway, great pic of the girl in exotic lingerie. It was sleek and sensual.