3 charged for allegedly stealing $310,000 in merchandise from luxury retailers in California

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Wednesday, March 20, 2024
3 charged for stealing $310K in items from luxury retailers in CA
The suspects allegedly stole $310,000 worth of merchandise from stores such as Prada, Louis Vuitton and other high-end retailers during smash-and-grab thefts throughout California.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Three men are facing multiple felony charges for their alleged involvement in an organized retail crime ring that targeted high-end retail stores throughout California, state Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Tuesday.

The suspects are accused of conducting smash-and-grab thefts and stealing nearly $310,000 worth of merchandise from luxury retailers such as Burberry, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Coach and Versace, according to a news release from the attorney general's office.

They allegedly ran into stores, grabbed purses and other expensive merchandise before fleeing. The suspects allegedly ripped the bags off displays even when the items were connected to displays with locks.

Bonta said the items would be resold through Instagram.

The California Department of Justice filed charges including organized retail theft, robbery and grand theft against Isaiah Abdullah, 26, Ishmael Baptist, 25, and Nickolas Mallory, 26.

Bonta said the thefts occurred from December 2022 through February 2024 and targeted stores in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Riverside, Alameda, and Santa Clara counties. Twenty-seven charges were filed, according to a criminal complaint.

The investigation included personnel from the Los Angeles Police Department's Organized Retail Task Force in collaboration with the San Diego Police Department, Riverside County Sheriff's Department, Costa Mesa Police Department, Newport Beach Police Department, Livermore Police Department and Palo Alto Police Department.

Bonta was accompanied at a news conference by law enforcement personnel including LAPD Deputy Chief Alan Hamilton, the department's chief of detectives.

"Organized retail theft harms businesses, retailers, and consumers -- and puts the public at risk," Bonta said at LAPD headquarters.

Investigators seized five firearms, according to Bonta.

City News Service contributed to this report.