Eight charged in high-end theft; possible link to other regional thefts
Eight Chicago-area men were charged in a dash-and-grab theft at an Edina Galleria Mall store that may be part of a regional theft ring, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Thursday.
Derrick Crowder, 22, William Curry, 23, Clyde Dobbs, 22, Thomas Gaston Jr., 22, Darion Hood, 21, Shawn Mondie, 21, Danny Robinson, 39, and Leon White, 29, all were charged with a single count of felony theft. In addition, White was charged with fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle. The eight are expected to make their first court appearance Monday.
According to the criminal complaint, all but White ran into the Louis Vuitton Store at the Galleria Mall in Edina just as it opened about 10 a.m. Wednesday. They ran through the store grabbing as much merchandise as they could and ran out to a waiting van with White in the driver’s seat.
A former security guard was parked in the lot and was suspicious of the van. When he saw the men running out of the store with merchandise and dragging security ropes and tags, he called police and followed the van as it headed south on Penn Avenue. Numerous police agencies chased the van, with speeds over 100 miles, until it was forced to stop in Woodbury, the complaint states.
Louis Vuitton stores have been hit with similar thefts throughout the United States and the FBI has been investigating. Police and the FBI have identified several of the men charged Thursday in videos of thefts at high-end malls in other states, according to the complaint.
Crowder criminal complaint (PDF)
Curry criminal complaint (PDF)
Dobbs criminal complaint (PDF)
Gaston criminal complaint (PDF)
Hood criminal complaint (PDF)
mondie criminal complaint (PDF)
Robinson criminal complaint (PDF)
White criminal complaint (PDF)