Theresa Roemer caught a lot of flak last month for her over-the-top closet — a $500,000 monument to conspicuous consumption. She also caught the attention of a thief with an eye for fashion, who last Friday night broke into her Houston, Texas, home and the "world's biggest closet" and made off with a reported $1 million in Birkin bags, watches and jewels.
The news reports about her closet also included a mention of her more than 60 Birkin Bags, which at about $20,000 a piece means the Hermès handbag collection alone was worth more than $1.2 million, conservatively. The burglar had pricier items in his sights, though, and took three Birkin travel bags, valued at $60,000 each and stuffed them full of jewels and watches.
“All of my jewelry is gone,” Roemer said.
Law enforcement thinks the recent publicity about the $500,000 closet stuffed with baubles caught the attention of thieves who simply couldn't resist the massive score. But when asked if she regrets letting the world into her luxurious lair, she says she remains focused on the positive side of the media blitz.
"I would absolutely do it all again, the positives have far outweighed the negative," Roemer says. "The purpose of my closet is to hold fundraising events in a unique venue. The publicity has given visibility to my space and I have been approached by many reputable organizations to hold events that people will benefit from. I am truly grateful for that."
No matter how easy it is to judge her and her over-the-top lifestyle and chalk up the heist as self-induced by her own publicity campaign, she is also a person who has been violated and lost irreplaceable treasures. Most upsetting, she told the Houston Chronicle, is the loss of her silver locket which inside holds a lock of hair from her son, who died tragically in a 2006 car accident.
"It's the only thing left of my son, and it's gone," she said crying.
The robber was fortunately caught on surveillance video. Roemer admits she forgot to set the alarm before leaving for dinner at the country club with friends. But, she adds, she'll pick herself up and move forward, just like she always has.
"It is unfortunate that someone chose to violate my home in such a way and it is heartbreaking, however I am strong and will get over this hurdle as I have in the past," she says. "Life goes on and we will continue to hold events in the closet. Good always outweighs evil."
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