Ladies, pay attention: If it’s too good to be true, it probably is - especially when it comes to purchasing those designer handbags at bargain-basement prices.
A sting operation Monday unveiled a scheme that involved promises of Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Coach and Dooney & Burke handbags ranging from $15 to $160.
The purses were sold on a Web site, www.shannasstuff.com.
Police arrested Shanna Sandoval, 24, of Stephenville Monday and charged her with trademark counterfeiting, authorities said.
Sandoval was allegedly operating the counterfeit handbag business out of an apartment at Royal Manor Apartments, where she lived.
Det. Sgt. Russell Ford said the Stephenville Police Department was asked to assist in the investigation by Joel Voyles, an investigator who works for a company that specializes in investigating counterfeit schemes.
Ford said companies like Chanel and Dooney & Burke hire investigation companies to break up these types of schemes.
“It is against the law to sell imitation handbags with designer names on them,” Ford said.
Sandoval was allegedly selling the handbags under the premise that they were imitation, but also claimed she could get the “real thing,” Ford said.
Sandoval was arrested after Voyles and another investigator purchased two handbags from her on Monday morning. Inside the apartment, authorities seized numerous handbags valued at an estimated $1,500.
Sara Vanden Berge covers courts, law enforcement, and business and political issues for the Empire-Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her work number is 968-2379, ext. 240.