The same goes with bargain-priced jewellery, handbags from high-end stores Dooney & Bourke or Coach, perfume from American fashion house Abercrombie & Fitch or expensive saucepans from homewares store Williams Sonoma.

The US Department of Homeland Security and the San Antonio Police Department announced on Wednesday they smashed a multi-million dollar international retail theft ring based in Texas, but had expanded into Australia, Canada, Columbia and Mexico.

Five San Antonio women – Cassandra Arenas, 23, Emily Garcia, 26, Eva Salazar, 48, Christian Salazar, 28 and Piedad Perez, 32 – have been charged with organised retail theft.

It is alleged the women stole items from high-end stores, including $US700 ($A787) worth of Victoria’s Secret underwear from one San Antonio shop alone, and then re-sold the items around the world.

When authorities raided a San Antonio home this week they allegedly found a garage loaded with stolen items, including 230 pairs of Victoria’s Secret lingerie and 60 bottles of Abercrombie & Fitch perfume.

“Based on what we’ve seen already, they’re probably smuggling these items out of the United States for retail sale in other parts of the world,” Department of Homeland Security acting special agent in charge, Vincent Iglio, told a press conference.

A Homeland Security spokesperson declined to go into detail about the Australian operation, but said its investigators continue to work on “the global investigation”.

“HSI (Homeland Security Investigations) believes these suspects are connected to a much larger international stolen property ring or organisation,” Homeland Security spokesperson Adelina Pruneda told AAP.


Main image: Aussie Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr (Getty images)