San Francisco Vintage Boutique Raided for Illegal Animal Goods - NBC Bay Area
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San Francisco Vintage Boutique Raided for Illegal Animal Goods

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    NEWSLETTERS

    An investigation began Thursday into whether a fashion store in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood is selling illegal animal goods, California Department of Fish and Wildlife officials said. Raj Mathai reports. (Published Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016)

    A well-known San Francisco clothing shop got some unexpected visitors Thursday when federal and state agents raided the store, Decades of Fashion.

    The vintage clothing shop is suspected of selling endangered "animal parts," or in other words fur.

    An anonymous tip led to a dozen law enforcement agents serving a search warrant and raiding the shop, located at 1653 Haight Street. Agents said about half the time these tips lead to nothing. But this time, after searching the store for nearly five hours, the tip turned out to be true.

    "Animal furs and animal skins are part of what we found," said Lt. James Ober of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

    Ober said the furs in question are from endangered or threatened species.

    "Our primary purpose is to prohibit commercialization of animals, which for some reason may be threatened or endangered," Ober said. "Or sometimes it's animals that may have been taken under a sport hunting license. And we don't want them to be something that can be done for profit."

    Agents removed at least a dozen shopping bags full of items, but still do not know how the owner bought the furs or whether she knew they came from endangered animals.

    "We still need to talk to the owner about what her current knowledge is of what's gone on," Ober said.

    Until then, the store remains closed.

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