4 indicted for the theft of 48 handbags from the LI Balenciaga store

EAST HAMPTON, NY (WCBS 880) — Three New Jersey men and a woman were charged Wednesday with allegedly stealing nearly $100,000 worth of handbags from a Balenciaga store in the Hamptons earlier this month.

Five people rushed inside the high-end East Hampton retailer around 1.30pm on March 3 and within seconds grabbed 48 handbags worth around $94,000 before running out from the store and flee in a black Dodge Durango, driving almost 100 miles. per hour sometimes during their getaway as the police chased them.

“This is part of an organized network of retail thefts,” Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney said Wednesday in announcing the grand jury indictment. “What we see with the rings is that they will go to places that they think are easy targets and the merchandise that they take, they can make revenue from it in a secondary market.”

One of the suspects, unidentified and still at large, initially entered the store alone with a pink ski mask on his face and sunglasses.

She appeared to be on the phone, walking around the store looking at the various bags and after a short time asked a store employee to check if they had a particular size shoe in stock.

Handbags recovered in Balenciaga store robbery in East Hampton

Sophia room photo credit

Prosecutors said when the employee went to the back, three men and a woman, all of whom were masked, ran into the store and began clearing the shelves, snatching as many handbags as they could. could in just 24 seconds.

Once the suspects took off, the employee called 911 and police were able to track down the runaway Durango.

Police gave chase and authorities arrested four of the suspects when they ran into the woods near Exit 69 on the Long Island Freeway.

Ray Tierney

Suffolk County DA Ray Tierney holds a purse recovered for a robbery from an East Hampton Balenciaga.

Sophia room photo credit

Thirty-four of the stolen handbags were found near the scene of the arrests and two were recovered from the parking lot of the Balenciaga store. A dozen bags are still missing.

Police also recovered a bag of methamphetamine pills from the vehicle.

The suspects have been identified as Jamal Johns, 25, Baseemah Davis, 34, Ali Harris, 28, and Wazir Rodgers, 25, all of Newark, New Jersey.

Balenciaga robbery

Suspects in the East Hampton Balenciaga robbery.

Sophia room photo credit

The defendants were arraigned for robbery and criminal possession in Riverhead Court.

Bail has been set for Johns and Davis. Rogers never appeared in court and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Harris was released with a GPS monitor.

The fifth suspect is still at large.

“In terms of the huge amount of retail theft that is happening, stores are closing and ultimately the loss of that revenue is passed on to consumers, so ultimately we all pay,” said Tierney.

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