NEW YORK - The NYPD carried out a huge raid in the Canal Street area of Lower Manhattan to stop counterfeit goods sales.
They seized fake luxury goods with an estimated street value at more than $10 million and arrested 17 people.
Police said they filled three trucks with thousands of items that were fake Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Gucci, Balenciaga, Prada, Dior, Rolex, and Yves Saint Laurent. Among the seized items were purses, backpacks, shoes, sunglasses, and watches.
"We recognize that during the holidays, activities such as this will increase and our efforts to deter this conduct, to investigate this conduct, will be ongoing," NYPD Chief of Patrol Jeffrey Maddrey said.
The raids came after complaints from small business owners and residents in the area.
Counterfeit watches were on display at an NYPD news conference.
Police said the area around Canal and Broadway had the feel of a street market with sidewalks blocked and merchandise everywhere.
The NYPD used a counterfeit specialist to recognize items that were knockoffs and then they arrested the people selling the items.
Counterfeit shoes were on display at an NYPD news conference.
The top charge the suspects face is felony trademark counterfeiting charge.
The NYPD admitted that it is not a crime to buy the merchandise, only to sell it. They claimed that the people buying to goods are among the victims.
Counterfeit sunglasses were on display at an NYPD news conference.
"There are layers of victims with this crime. It is not a victimless crime," Maddrey said.
The goods are being cataloged and then stored in warehouses.
A table displaying various counterfeit goods was shown at an NYPD news conference.
A counterfeit Yves Saint Laurent purse was on display at an NYPD news conference.