A New Jersey shoplifting gang who swiped $90,000 worth of purses from an East Hampton Balenciaga store was arrested after a 90mph car chase that ended when they popped a tire and fled into the woods.
East Hampton Village Police said three men and two women entered the luxury store on Thursday at 1.30pm, grabbing bags off the shelves in under 30 seconds and making off in a black Dodge Durango.
New York State Troopers chased after the vehicle on the Long Island Expressway, and after the getaway car popped a dire, the suspects got out and fled into the wooded area near the highway.
After an extensive search, police caught four of the five suspects: Ali Harris, 28, Jamal Johns, 25, and Wazir Rodgers, 25, and Baseemah Tamika Davis, 34, all of Newark.
Davis had previously been arrested on Long Island on January 20 when cops found her and three others in possession of stolen property and drugs inside a BMW with fake New Jersey license plates.
The fifth suspect in Thursday’s robbery remains at large.
Baseemah Tamika Davis, 34, (pictured) was one of four arrested in a brazen robbery of $90,000 worth of purses at a Balenciaga store in East Hampton on Thursday
Store employees told police a gang of five thieves entered the store at around 1.30pm
The thieves swiped the merchandise in less than 30 seconds before making their getaway
According to State Police, employees at the store called 911 when the suspects stormed in and an East Hampton police officer spotted the car driving ‘recklessly’ in the village.
The officer instructed the vehicle to stop, but when the driver failed to comply, the officer called off the local pursuit to avoid an ‘unsafe situation’ within the village.
A State trooper then spotted the car speeding near Westhampton Beach and chased after it before it got on the Long Island Expressway, where more state officers joined the pursuit.
When the getaway car popped a tire and the suspects fled on foot, The New York State Police and their K-9 unit were joined by local and county police to search for the suspects.
State police quickly apprehended one of the suspects, and the Suffolk County Police tracked down the other three, police said.
The four arrested suspects face state and local charges as State Police charged them with criminal possession of stolen property and East Hampton Police charged them with grand larceny.
They were arraigned at both the East Hampton Court and Suffolk County First District Court.
In her January 20, arrest, Davis faced a total of 10 charges, including two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance and three counts of criminal possession of stolen property.
The crime is reminiscent of the spate of smash-and-grab robberies that plagued luxury stores across the nation earlier in the winter.
During the Louis Vuitton store theft, which White Plains police say happened last month, one man is seen running from the store, stolen purses in hand
The other suspect was almost stopped by other people in the store, but managed to escape with stolen purses, right past the security guard
Last month, police in White Plains, New York, released a disturbing video that captured shoppers at a Louis Vuitton store trying to prevent a crew of thieves from ransacking the luxury retailer in January – only for the brazen bandits to escape when mall security guards sat back and watched.
In the video, the suspects are seen fleeing the store at the Westchester Mall in White Plains, as other people nearby attempted to stop them. But as the chaotic scene unfolds, an apparent mall security guard hangs back and watches, but does nothing.
The other suspect was almost stopped by other people in the store, but managed to escape with stolen purses, right past the security guard.
It was the second time in recent weeks that thefts at high-end stores have been carried out at the mall just north of New York City, after robbers targeted a Burberry store.