Five individuals have been arrested following a multi-agency investigation by the Metropolitan Police Department in conjunction with the US Attorney’s Office, US Marshals Service, and the Prince George’s County Police Department into a highly-coordinated scheme by the defendants to steal cellular telephones, computers, and other high-value merchandise from retail establishments in and around the DC metropolitan area. The stolen items were then resold for cash.
Between June 2012 and October 1, 2013, the participants in the scheme would drive around the DC metropolitan area and locate various retail cellular telephone stores. They would then case the stores in an effort to carry out their crimes. In each of the incidents, while in the presence of customers or store employees, the participants would either forcefully remove cellular phones and other items of value from the store, or take them by stealth.
The defendants are believed to be responsible for 46 known burglaries, with a total value of merchandise estimated at $77,000. The incidents occurred in DC, Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina.
Following the execution of search warrants, DC Superior Court arrest warrants were issued and the individuals below were arrested and charged with Burglary and Conspiracy to Commit a Crime:
22-year-old Christopher Brice of Southeast, DC; 20-year-old Taiwo Johnson, of Southeast, DC; 22-year-old Dasheem Smith of Northeast, DC; 22-year-old Dalvez Watkins of Suitland, Md., and 24-year-old Darien Wilson of Northeast, DC.
The arrests today come on the heels of an announcement earlier this week of a suspect arrested for trafficking stolen goods in connection with a Northwest business.
Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said “The arrests this week should send a message to criminals that if you steal from individuals and businesses and then resell their stolen property in Washington, DC and the surrounding area, we will find you and arrest you.”