Instagrammer charged over alleged stolen designer handbags
A self-described bag-a-holic's addiction to high-end fashion has landed him in the most unglamorous of places.
Instagram influencer Trung Bao Le inundated his social media profile with photographs of luxury handbags, from international fashion houses like Dior, Bally and Chloe.
But unbeknown to his 54,000 followers, police allege Le's prized possessions were stolen.
On Friday, police caught up with Le in Randwick and the 25-year-old fashion business graduate led police to his array of expensive handbags inside his Surry Hills home.
Police allege the bags and other items seized were stolen from stores in Sydney and Melbourne and collectively worth $50,000.
Police allege some had featured on Le's Instagram feed along with a Louis Vuitton purse tucked casually under his arm and a Christian Dior tote bag with Bondi Beach in the background.
One caption read: "You are dubbed the new IT bag of the season this beauty from Louis Vuitton."
Sporting some silver handcuffs and a quivering bottom lip, Le - also known by his Instagram name The Fashion Sanga - appeared in Parramatta Bail Court on Saturday.
His legal aid solicitor Paul Johnson said Le appeared to have a fixation on fashion, being an Instagram influencer and taking photographs of himself with the "expensive property".
"If this is almost a fetish then … how do we deal with someone addicted to this sort of behaviour?" Magistrate Chris McRobert replied.
Mr Johnson pointed out that his client had showed police the handbags and all of them had been seized.
"He is terrified about what's happened and where he is at the moment and how busy it is in there (Surry Hills police cells)," he told the court.
The prosecution opposed Le's bail application, arguing the Vietnamese national had been charged with larceny in Victoria in the past.
"This offence is quite significant in that the amount of things stolen and prices involved is quite significant," the prosecutor said.
Magistrate McRobert asked Le to convince him how he would curb his "uncontrollable obsession".
"If you let me on bail I will delete my Instagram, social media, delete everything," Le said.
That was enough to tip the scales in favour of Le's favour.
He was granted bail on strict conditions, including that he not use social media, stay out of retail stores except for supermarkets and report to Surry Hills Police Station everyday.
The matter was adjourned to the Downing Centre Local Court on August 14.
Originally published as Instagrammer charged over alleged stolen designer handbags