Burbank Magnolia Park merchant, Marya “Mary” Wanker, has a lot on her plate right now. She’s in the final stages of planning her wedding and scrambling to assemble a new collection of luxury handbags, after a $60,000 burglary at her new shop earlier this month. Wanker, 28, admits the burglary was a brutal setback, but she has “upped her security” and is determined to reopen soon: “I’m not going to let a bunch of thugs intimidate me.”
The well-organized thieves stripped many of the shelves bare in LuxMary Handbags, 3421 West Magnolia Blvd. on Friday night, July 7. They were selective, snatching handbags by Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, and Burberry. Wanker says one of the stolen items was worth “$20,000.” Some jewelry was taken, too. Wanker believes the burglars took their time ransacking the shop, after “cutting the power” to the security system.
Wanker was in the eighth grade when she got her first job in retail. She admits to “loving (handbags) bags and fashion.” She has held down jobs with several designers in the past. She now works for Chanel. Wanker had a dream of opening her own shop. The goal to “give every woman a luxury experience under retail price,” she says. Wanker and her business partner/fiancé, Carlos Ortiz, 32, began selling handbags online and out of the trunk of a car. They opened the doors of LuxMary in Magnolia Park last March.
Both Wanker and Ortiz believe in being proactive. They contacted nearby business owners for surveillance video and alerted the media about the break in. Fox 11 News ran a piece about the burglary on Sunday, July 9. Wanker has high praise for Burbank Police who are investigating the crime: “They’ve been very good,” she says.
Oddly, Burbank Police did not immediately put out a news release on this burglary, despite the large amount of expensive merchandise stolen. BPD spokesman, Sergeant Derek Green, told me in an email: “Detectives are working several leads. We are not releasing any other information at this time since this is an active and ongoing investigation. “