Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Top Designer's Collection Is Stolen and Sold on eBay

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Top Designer's Collection Is Stolen and Sold on eBay

Article excerpt

Byline: FLORA STUBBS

A LEADING fashion designer's stolen collection was put up for sale on eBay.

Jessica Ogden said police and eBay failed to act, despite her telling both that thousands of pounds worth of garments were being auctioned.

The 35-year-old designer, who regularly shows her collections at London Fashion Week, told the Evening Standard she was "heartbroken" as she saw the garments being sold one-by-one on the website.

Police said that "regrettably" the matter was not fully investigated before the items were sold and eBay said it would only act if police had given a tip-off.

Experts say the success of eBay, which has up to 10 million UK users, has made it easier to sell stolen goods. They believe the problem is "rampant".

Among the complainants is the British Museum, which claims items stolen from archaeological digs are put up for sale on the website.

Ms Ogden's handmade garments were stolen last month while they were being delivered to Selfridges. She was "horrified" to discover they were being auctioned on eBay a few weeks later and immediately got in touch with the website and police, to try to get the clothes taken from sale. All she received from the internet auctioneers was an automated email response with a promise that her query would be answered within 24 hours.

"That was the last I heard from them," Ms Ogden said.

Police created a crime report but no immediate action was taken.

Ms Ogden said: "I just kept asking myself, 'How can I be watching this happen live and not be able to do anything about it?"

A cashmere cardigan with a retail value of [pounds sterling]360 was auctioned for [pounds sterling]31, while a merino wool gilet worth [pounds sterling]270 went for [pounds sterling]43.

Ms Ogden said: "Thinking about the time and effort that had gone into each one of these pieces, seeing them sold for less than the cost of the wool used to knit them was heartbreaking."

The Met said it has now reopened its investigation. …

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