Police agencies have been telling us for years not to leave valuables in the car. Traditionally, that has meant things like cell phones, purses, laptop computers, and the like. But times are changing. Now you cannot even leave your designer sunglasses in the car and expect them to be there when you get back. They might not be.
A recent story out of Dearborn Heights, Michigan demonstrates just how valuable sunglasses are to thieves these days. According to the Press & Guide, a couple filed a police report in early June after their two cars were burglarized overnight. They lost a few items, none of which compared to the $1,400 in sunglasses they lost.
Thieves Knew What They Wanted
Though details are sketchy, the Press & Guide story gives the impression that the thieves knew exactly what they wanted. They took only some cologne and a few loose coins from one of the cars. They stole four pairs of designer sunglasses from the other. One pair was worth $500 while the other three were estimated at $300 each.
Another detail of the story is fascinating: the couple realized their cars had been burglarized only when the husband noticed the glove boxes in both had been gone through. It seems strange that they didn’t take anything else, either. That implies they were after the sunglasses.
Note that both cars were locked overnight. Whether or not thieves could see any the sunglasses isn’t clear. However, it’s unlikely that all four pairs were out in plain sight. Perhaps one or two, but the rest were likely in the glove box of the car from which they were stolen.
Worth a Lot of Money
All of this might have you scratching your head. After all, what is a pair of sunglasses other than plastic molded into a frame and a couple of plastic lenses? It turns out they are worth an awful lot of money on the street.
A manufacturer can produce a very good pair of sunglasses for just a couple of dollars, explains Utah-based Olympic Eyewear. That manufacturer sells to a wholesale distributor at a high enough cost to cover expenses and generate a little profit. The wholesaler then sells the glasses to a retailer who also marks them up. Your final retail price covers the expenses and profit on everyone involved in getting the sunglasses to market.
With all that said, it’s no longer unusual to pay a couple of hundred dollars for some designer brands. Even more affordable sunglasses can range anywhere from $75-$100. That makes them worth a lot on the street.
Deeply Discounted Prices
Thieves who steal designer sunglasses are essentially offering them on the street at deeply discounted prices. If they can sell a $500 pair of sunglasses for $100, that’s still a tidy profit for a product they paid nothing for. And let’s face it, sunglasses are pretty easy to steal.
Most of us don’t protect our sunglasses the same way we protect our cell phones. We think nothing of leaving them up on the dashboard before locking the door and heading into the house. We think nothing of setting them down at a table and turning away from them for a brief moment. We think nothing of leaving our sunglasses on a beach chair while off enjoying the water.
No, you cannot leave your designer sunglasses in the car anymore. Any pair worth a lot on the retail market is worth even more on the street. Thieves know that, and they are more willing than ever to steal your shades.