SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— San Francisco’s high-end retailers are on high alert after a recent rash of brazen robberies has taken Union Square by storm. It turns out there are different groups of culprits, but the ones in the lead are separate groups of girls, dubbed by police as “The Rainbow Girls”.

Who are these ladies and why do they sound like cartoon characters? Well, the nickname comes from their colorful attire and brightly dyed hair, but their actions aren’t exactly PG-type behavior. They’re mostly in their teens and 20s and they arrive in packs at stores like Gucci, Prada, Neiman Marcus, and Victoria’s Secret among others.

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Basically they go in and just grab (not just anything) but some of the most high-end items like Ferragamos bags and Prada wallets and they’re out of the store just as fast as they’re in and by the time the police arrive they’re long gone.

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We should point out that it’s not just the ladies doing ransacking Union Square. Now we’ve got some guys getting in on the action. Recently a couple of guys drove a truck into the front of the Chanel store on Maiden Lane. They made off with six handbags. I thought to myself: ‘That’s a lot of trouble to get some handbags.’ I called the cops and lo and behold the value of those bags totaled somewhere in the neighborhood of $246,000.

So with Hermes top-end Birkin bags priced at just over $200,000 a piece it’s no wonder why these stores are being targeted since the thefts are being done with ease, albeit hastily. In 2012, the group made headlines when at least five women robbed the Ferrari store on Union Square only to be caught a couple of blocks away.

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So once this merchandise is stolen where does it go? You’d assume it’s being fenced somewhere. There are theories that the hot items are being sold on Ebay or shipped out of the country. But no matter how you look at it, if you’re making money off of a $40,000 bag, you’ve got to know who your customer is. Even if you’re knocking down the price for like $5,000, you’ve got to know someone who’s going to come up with that kind of money.