Thieves target designer handbag shop loved by Made in Chelsea stars

EXCLUSIVE: Smash and grab thieves repeatedly target flagship designer handbag shop in London loved by stars of reality show Made in Chelsea

  • Thieves have broken into the Handbag Clinic ‘up to five times in eight months’
  • The shop repairs and restores designer bags worth more than £20,000
  • MIC stars Sophie Hermann, Stephanie Pratt and model Imogen Thomas are fans
  • Ram-raiders left shattered glass outside the shop on King’s Road in Chelsea
  • In 2016, two men in motorbike helmets carried out a £25,000 raid on the Handbag Clinic’s store in Islington, North London 

Smash and grab thieves are repeatedly targeting a designer handbag store favoured by the stars of reality show Made in Chelsea which lies on one of Britain’s wealthiest streets.  

Criminals are alleged to have struck at the Handbag Clinic, on London’s trendy King’s Road, ‘five times’ within the last eight months.

The boutique shop sells and restores handbags worth more than £20,000 and counts celebrities such as model Imogen Thomas and Made in Chelsea stars Sophie Hermann and Stephanie Pratt as customers.

In the latest incident, in the early hours of Tuesday morning, ram-raiders smashed through the shop’s front.

It is not known what was stolen but the culprits later fled on motorbikes.

Smash and grab thieves are repeatedly targeting the Handbag Clinic (above), a designer handbag store favoured by the stars of reality show Made in Chelsea which lies on one of Britain’s wealthiest streets

The boutique shop sells and restores handbags worth more than £20,000 and counts celebrities such as model Imogen Thomas and Made in Chelsea stars Sophie Hermann and Stephanie Pratt (above with one of her many bags) as customers

Criminals are alleged to have struck at the Handbag Clinic, on London’s trendy Kings Road, ‘five times’ within the last eight months. Pictured: Sophie Hermann with one of her beloved bags

The store, in Chelsea, has now been boarded up but is still open for business. Staff today confirmed a break in had taken place but declined to comment further.

However Robert Emmett, who owns clothing store Emmett London next-door, said: ‘They’ve been hit quite a few times already this year.

‘The shop’s been targeted probably five times in the space of about eight months or so.

‘The latest happened in the early hours of Tuesday. We opened up in the morning and glass from their shattered front window was strewn all over the pavement.

‘I don’t know what was taken during that attack but I know they’ve had expensive designer handbags stolen in some of the earlier robberies.

‘Some of the handbags they sell and repair in there are worth upwards of £20,000.’

Staff at DR Jackets, on the other side of the Handbag Clinic, also confirmed that Tuesday’s break in was the latest in a string of recent incidents there.

The Metropolitan Police are now investigating after they were called shortly before 4am on Tuesday morning.

A spokeswoman said: ‘A car was driven into the front of the shop before the suspects fled the scene on two motorbikes. 

‘Enquiries are ongoing to establish what items were stolen during the incident. ‘There have been no arrests and enquiries into the circumstances remain ongoing.’

In the latest incident, in the early hours of Tuesday morning, ram-raiders smashed through the shop’s front. It is not known what was stolen but the culprits later fled on motorbikes.

Staff today confirmed an attack had taken place but declined to comment further. However Robert Emmett, who owns clothing store Emmett London next-door, said: ‘They’ve been hit quite a few times already this year. Pictured: Imogen Thomas with a Gucci bag

The Metropolitan Police are now investigating after they were called shortly before 4am on Tuesday morning

In 2016, two men in motorbike helmets carried out a £25,000 raid on the Handbag Clinic’s store in Islington, North London.

CCTV footage showed a have-a-go hero grapple with one of the raiders after surprising him in the shop, before the other thief charged at him – while carrying about seven bags – and barged him out of the way.

The shop on the Kings Road is the upmarket chain’s flagship store.

Well-heeled handbag afficionados pay as much as £200 to give their much loved bags some love and attention to restore them to their former glory.

Grubby bags can be spruced-up through one of four available packages which offer everything from a thorough clean, to a fresh coat of colour or a layer of stain-preventing cream.

One customer had £100,000 worth of bags on the service when it first started in 2015.

The shop also buys luxury handbags and sells them on after they have been touched up.


The shop on the Kings Road is the upmarket chain’s flagship store. Well-heeled handbag afficionados pay as much as £200 to give their much loved bags some love and attention to restore them to their former glory. Pictured: MIC star Sophie Hermann

One customer had £100,000 worth of bags on the service when it first started in 2015. The shop also buys luxury handbags and sells them on after they have been touched up. Pictured: MIC star Stephanie Pratt

The company was set up after Ben Staerck, the director of leather repair company Furniture Clinic, noticed a surge in demand for specialist bag restoration. Pictured: Sophie Hermann

The company was set up after Ben Staerck, the director of leather repair company Furniture Clinic, noticed a surge in demand for specialist bag restoration.

Speaking four-years ago, Mr Staerck said: ‘My father and I launched Furniture Clinic in 2004 to restore and repair heirloom and vintage pieces of leather furniture.

‘We soon found our customers were asking us if we could repair their high-end designer handbags because they couldn’t find a specialist handbag workshop they trusted to restore their high-value accessories.

‘Demand has soared for work on all types of bags from the likes of Chanel, Jimmy Choo, Hermes and Mulberry.’ 

A spokeswoman for Handbag Clinic refused to comment.

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