6 people charged with ambush robberies at Twin Cities stores during Black Friday

Six people have been charged with being among nearly 20 people who plotted and ambushed multiple outlets in the Twin Cities on Black Friday over Thanksgiving weekend, seizing thousands of dollars worth of goods in front of shoppers and amazed employees.

“This brazen act by an organized group shocked those who witnessed it firsthand as well as the retail community and law-abiding shoppers who were shopping ahead of the busy holiday season,” the district attorney said Friday. Ramsey County, John Choi, when the charges were unsealed in district court.

Charged with felony theft are Nathaniel Spears, 27, of Albany, Minnesota; Raymone Wright, 22, of Minneapolis; Na’Touri K. Ross, 19, of Minneapolis; and Shaimee NS Robinson-Love, 18, of Bloomington. Two 17-year-olds were charged by summons in juvenile court. The Star Tribune does not generally identify accused minors as minors.

Best Buy stores in Burnsville, Blaine and Maplewood were targeted by the thieves, along with a Dick’s Sporting Goods outlet in Richfield, the charges allege.

Televisions, tablet computers, a hoverboard and other electronics totaling more than $26,000 were stolen with both hands from Best Buy stores, according to the criminal complaints. The charges did not specify the items or dollar amount related to the thefts at Dick’s.

Spears, Wright, Ross and Robinson Love were among “a dozen other people” who visited each of the four stores on Black Friday, one of the busiest in-person shopping days of the year after the Thanksgiving holiday.

“The investigation into these events continues,” a statement from Choi’s office read Friday, “and additional people may be charged in Ramsey and other counties if more evidence can be gathered by investigators. “.

Spears was arrested, released on $30,000 bond and is due in court Feb. 15. A message was left for his attorney requesting a response to the allegations. The other adults charged have warrants for their arrest.

Crowd robberies also occurred elsewhere in major cities across the country in November. Several burglaries were reported in Chicago stores on Black Friday. Smash-and-grab incidents were reported earlier in the month at outlets of high-end brands such as Louis Vuitton in the San Francisco area. Walgreens has temporarily closed several of its pharmacies in San Francisco, citing “organized retail crime”.

Depending on the charges:

Around 6 p.m. on November 26, the group stole more than $7,300 worth of merchandise from Maplewood’s Best Buy and fled into various vehicles waiting for the thieves.

The storyline played out in much the same way on the same day at other Best Buy stores and at Dick’s, suggesting the mass thefts were “organized and not random,” the statement from Choi’s office said.

A tipster has implicated Wright, who also goes by the name Ra’Laisa Wright and is associated with a Facebook page called “Run Outs by Ralai”. Posts on the page boasted of organized retail robberies, and the tipster said Wright was on Facebook Live showing off a treasure trove of electronics.

A post read, “It’s a lifestyle and I’m proud to say I’m the first Certified Booster with an LLC. Run Outs by Ralai offers the best boosting service in Minnesota. We plan to expand this year.” .. and we get everything you need.”

Police attended Wright’s home and seized a car that was used in the robberies. Wright came out, asked why he was being towed, and denied being involved in the robberies, but acknowledged that she also goes by Ra’Laisa Wright.

Wright said a group of people met at a gas station in Minneapolis on Broadway and plotted the robberies. Wright said each person involved was selling the stolen goods individually, but declined to implicate anyone by name.

Wright’s Minnesota criminal history includes a third-degree assault conviction in Hennepin County.

Spears was convicted of the same offense in Sherburne County and is awaiting sentencing in Stearns County for unlawful possession of weapons.

About Anne Wurtsbach

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