Six people are charged with grabbing thousands of dollars in merchandise in front of stunned shoppers and employees at several Twin Cities retail outlets on Nov. 26, Black Friday.
"This brazen act by an organized group shocked those who witnessed it first-hand as well as the retail community and law-abiding shoppers who were out making purchases ahead of the busy holiday season," Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said Friday, when the charges were unsealed in District Court.
Charged with felony theft are Nathaniel Spears, 27, of Albany, Minn.; Raymone Wright, 22, of Minneapolis; Na'Touri K. Ross,c 19, of Minneapolis; and Shaimee N.S. Robinson-Love, 18, of Bloomington. Two 17-year-olds were charged by summons in juvenile court. The Star Tribune generally does not identify minors who are charged as juveniles.
Best Buy stores in Burnsville, Blaine and Maplewood were targeted, as well as a Dick's Sporting Goods outlet in Richfield, the charges read.
Televisions, computer tablets, a hoverboard and other electronics totaling more than $26,000 were taken by the armloads from the Best Buy stores, the criminal complaints read.
Spears, Wright, Ross and Robinson-Love were among "about a dozen other people" who hit the stores on one of the busiest in-person shopping days of the year.
"The investigation into these events remains ongoing, and more individuals may be charged in Ramsey and other counties if more evidence can be gathered by investigators," Choi's office said.
Spears was arrested, released on a $30,000 bond and is due in court on Feb. 15. A message was left with his attorney seeking a response to the allegations. The other adults charged have warrants out for their arrest.
Mob thefts also occurred elsewhere in major cities around the country in November, including Chicago and San Francisco.
According to charges:
The mass thefts were "organized and not random," the statement from Choi's office read.
A tipster implicated Wright, who also goes by the name Ra'Lasia Wright.
Police went to Wright's home and seized a car that was used in the thefts. Wright came out, asked why it was being towed and denied participating in the thefts but acknowledged that she also goes by Ra'Laisa Wright.
Wright did say a group of people met at a gas station in Minneapolis and plotted the thefts. Wright said each person involved was selling the stolen goods individually, but declined to implicate anyone by name.
Wright's criminal history in Minnesota includes a third-degree assault conviction in Hennepin County.
Spears has been convicted of the same offense in Sherburne County, and awaits sentencing in Stearns County for illegal weapons possession.