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Tallahassee Store Raided for Fake Designer Handbags

It all followed a tip about so called "designer handbags" that were being sold at bargain prices.

Fifteen dollars for a Louis Vuitton wallet, how about $65 for a Gucci or even a Fendi handbag? It sounds like an incredible deal, and maybe it is, at least if you're in the market for a fake, and not a good one at that, according to detectives.

DET Chris Coxwell of the Leon County Sheriff's Office says, "You look at the purses, they look like a plastic or leather type material; stitching is substandard."

Of a portion of the counterfeit products Leon County Sheriff's Office detectives confiscated from the "Head to Toe" shop on Pensacola Street, the trademarks are well known: Lacoste, Chanel, Prada, Coach, Dior. All those companies were ripped off by the distributors, most of them from overseas.

Detectives say the counterfeit market is a lucrative business and it's hard to control.

Coxwell says, "I'm sure there are other places in town doing this, it's just a matter of if we get a complaint and we investigate the complaint."

It's against the law to sell the counterfeit products. Detectives say the will charge the store owner in the next few days, but it's a different story if you're a customer.

SGT Chris Chase says, "It's not illegal to buy the merchandise."

Once this case is closed everything will be destroyed. We checked out the Louis Vuitton Web site. The company has been aggressive in catching counterfeiters, including 6,000 raids last year alone.


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