By and  on July 3, 2008

ATLANTA — Street gangs targeting premium denim have stolen merchandise valued at more than $1 million during increasingly brazen robberies and break-ins of over 50 stores in the Atlanta area, police said.

Specialty retailers are locking denim in safes, hiring security guards and dropping some well-known denim lines because of the crime wave by what police have dubbed the "Blue Jean Bandits." Some merchants said they might close because of the added costs and emotional strain.

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