Charity shop sells £564 handbag after customer leaves it in changing room

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The owner of a £564 designer handbag accidentally left it in the changing room of a charity shop — which then mistakenly sold it for a fraction of its value.

Mum-of-two Zharkyn Ermekovna had tried on a coat at an RSPCA charity shop but forgot to pick up her luxury Balenciaga bag she bought at Harrods.

She claims shop volunteers at her local shop in East Finchley, North London, sold it for a fraction of its value within an hour.

The RSPCA is now appealing for the buyer to come forward and return the bag.

Zharkyn told The Sun: “You can’t sell something just like that, especially when it’s a designer product.

"I asked how it was sold full of items and they said it was empty and they would not look at the CCTV.

"It's shocking. I don't know what happened, I don't know what the truth is."

Zharkyn said she took off her bag to try on a Max Mara coat, which had an £80 tag, but forgot it in her rush to get back to her children.

The shop was closed by the time she realised her mistake and was "devastated" when she returned the next day to find it had been sold.

Zharkyn says she lost items including keys in the designer bag.

The luxury Spanish brand is a favourite of celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Khloe Kardashian.

The RSPCA apologised for selling the bag, which they said was a 'genuine error made in good faith'.

The charity said it can't provide CCTV footage to the bag owner directly due to data protection laws but has reported the matter to the police as a potential theft.

A spokesperson said: “We have apologised to the owner of the bag for selling it, it was a very genuine error made in good faith, and are making efforts to track it down.

“It would appear from CCTV cameras that the owner of the bag left it in a changing room for around an hour and then it was brought up to the till by a customer asking if they could buy it.

“We believe the handbag was emptied before it was brought to the till and there were no obvious signs that it was a misplaced personal item so was sold in good faith.

"It was only when the owner of the bag returned the next day that it was discovered a genuine mistake had occurred.

“The branch – which is a separately registered charity which raises money to help animals in the local area by caring for and rehoming animals in need and offering subsidised vet treatment for pet owners on low incomes – has apologised and launched an investigation.

“Unfortunately, the charity shop cannot supply CCTV footage to the bag owner directly due to data protection laws.

"However, the charity has reported the matter to the police and we would urge the bag owner to also report this to the police and the branch will assist with the investigation.

“The person who bought the bag was not connected to the branch or a regular customer.

"The branch is appealing for the customer who bought the bag to get in touch so it can be returned to its rightful owner.”

A Met Police spokesman said: "Police were called at 10:46hrs on Tuesday, 25 January to reports of the theft of a handbag from a commercial premises in High Road, N2.

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"The theft is believed to have taken place on Thursday, 20 January.

"The commercial premises also reported the incident to police via an online form on Monday, 24 January.

"No arrests have been made. Enquiries continue."

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