2007_03_chinatown.jpgHow badly do you want that fake purse? Just know this the next time you're perusing Chinatown for some cheap Prada or Coach gear: You may be trapped in a basement if the store gets raided. Yesterday, twelve shoppers were herded into the basement at 218 Centre Street while the police were busting the counterfeit ring - and were kept there against their will.

NY1 reports that 2 hours later, the police got a call from one of the shoppers. When the police arrived, they found tourists from Georgia, Florida and Spain who were apparently perusing fake Rolex and Cartier watches. One person told NY1 that the shoppers shouldn't have been locked in, then reasoned, “But then again, they went in, and hey kind of should know what to expect since it’s not really a legit type of transaction.”

Last month, there was this great New Yorker article about a lawyer who tracks down counterfeit bag (and other products) makers and sellers. For instance, those teeny, legit storefronts you see on Canal Street may have hidden entrances to huge basement spaces where the fake stuff is, and the buildings records aren't necessarily updated with changes made (like fake rooms). Sadly, the New Yorker doesn't have it online, so we'll have to wait until it's added to the next New Yorker DVD set.