PLEASANT PRAIRIE -- Ten individuals stand accused in a case of mob shoplifting at the North Face store at Pleasant Prairie Premium Outlets. As of Tuesday, July 16, six were charged, and two of the six were in custody. The other four had not been identified.
The crime happened on Monday evening, July 1 -- and it was caught on camera.
The six men charged in connection with this case are:
- Earnest Hopkins, Chicago, 31
- Bernard Stratton, Chicago, 28
- Terrance Henderson, Chicago, 28
- Clifford Fields, 27
- Kristian Green, Chicago, 27
- Jerrod Brim, Galesburg, IL, 25
All of the men were charged with felony retail theft -- intentionally taking greater than $10,000, as a party to a crime, repeater.
Green also faces an extra charge of felony retail theft.
As of Tuesday, Brim and Stratton were the only two in custody.
"The average, law abiding individual has an idea of what shoplifting looks like. This isn't what they're thinking," said Pleasant Prairie Police Chief David Smetana.
According to the criminal complaints, the mob shoplifting incident happened around 7:45 p.m. on July 1 -- and involved 10 men. The complaint said "they were in and out of the store within 30 seconds to a minute." The complaints stated all of the suspects "entered (the store) at the same time, went into a corner of the store, and grabbed several jackets off the rack" before running out of the store. The 10 men allegedly jumped into three different vehicles and fled.
"How fast they hit it, how planned out it was, how they grabbed those items and gone in 30 seconds," said Chief Smetana.
The manager of the North Face store indicated the suspects stole $33,723 worth of merchandise.
Police released the surveillance video in an effort to identify the men involved.
"Even though you have great video, it's a challenge at that point," said Chief Smetana.
On July 7, Pleasant Prairie police received a call from Chicago police about this case. Chicago officers with the Gang Investigations Unit were called by a confidential informant -- and asked if they had seen the video from the North Face incident. When the officers viewed the video, they recognized with "100% certainty" six of the 10 people involved in the shoplifting incident as being from the Mickey Cobras gang. They are the suspects who are now charged.
"When they saw those faces, there was immediately some identification going on down there," said Chief Smetana. "The work that was done in the last week-and-a-half is just the start of this. Just the tip of the iceberg, so we'll start looking at other cases that other jurisdictions have that maybe involving these individuals as well."
Days after the theft at North Face, another store, True Religion was hit. Police said it appeared different individuals were responsible for the True Religion theft, but the investigations continued.