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where to buy prescription sunglasses Keeping Store Alarms SilentVon Bergen contributed to this articlePosted: December 22, 1996The old red van belied the quality of the stolen clothing Upper Merion police would find inside: bag after bag of merchandise from Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Bloomingdale's.In all, the bags held more than $8,000 worth of apparel taken one day this month from the King of Prussia malls by professional shoplifters with a way to beat the stores' sensors: the bags themselves.Lined with metal, the bags block the sensor from detecting the white security tags attached to a dress or coat.The bags, and the pros from New York who use them, are turning up more and more frequently at Philadelphia area shopping malls.I've seen a couple before, but not like I'm seeing now,'' said Detective James Godby of the Upper Merion Police Department. The New York thieves are heading down here in droves,'' he said.Well, maybe not droves, but certainly there is a steady, consistent flow that is picking up speed. Police say that the bags are being used throughout the area and that local thieves are starting to imitate the pros. Some malls have more arrests than others; at Exton Square, none at all.The professional shoplifters are attracted to this area's wealth, its easy access to major highways, and the amount of money they can make from a day's haul, retail experts and law enforcement officials said. Godby said the five pros found in the red van Dec. 4 had stolen $11,000 worth of goods that day.Compared to the number of amateur shoplifters the ones who slip CDs into their pockets or mascara into their handbags the pros are relatively few. But they are considered a major threat by police and the retailers because they pack bigger losses into every theft.Professional shoplifters are a concern . . . because they're vicious,'' said Bruce Van Kleeck, a vice president with the National Retail Federation. Instead of stealing a pair of Levi's jeans, they will steal an entire table of them. They are killing retailers in terms of quantity.''Said Upper Merion Detective Jeff McCabe: Good pros can make $10,000 a day, and that figure could be low.''Nationwide, retail industry figures show,