NYC Cracks Down On Stores That Sell Fake Luxury Items

Like fake designer handbags and watches? We have bad news.

NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg is cracking down on purveyors of fake luxury items, closing down 32 stores in lower Manhattan.

Tourists jostle for space at Canal Street’s stores and sidewalk kiosks, bargaining with vendors over sparkly watches, handbags and perfumes with fake designer labels that are sold at a fraction of the cost of the genuine item.

But over the past five weeks, like the goods that are not what they appear to be, undercover police officers and city agents fanned out and pretended to be real shoppers in an area the mayor called the “Counterfeit Triangle” — which roughly includes Canal, Walker, Baxter and Centre Streets. They picked up items that included a Prada handbag for $40; a Patek Philippe watch and a Rolex for $80, and two pairs of Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses for $18.

On Tuesday, 32 shops were closed down, a civil lawsuit was filed against the property owner — the estate of Vincent Terranova — and more than $1 million worth of counterfeit goods were confiscated as a result of the more than 40 undercover shopping sprees.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg called the operation one of his administration’s “biggest takedowns ever” against the “easy and sleazy” money derived from counterfeit merchandise.

“Whoever you are, wherever you are, we are going to shut you down,” Mr. Bloomberg said.

Isn’t buying this fake designer crap the main thing tourists do in NYC? No one will visit anymore.

City Agents Shut Down 32 Vendors of Fake Items [NYC]
(Photo: John Marshall Mantel for The New York Times)