Heading into the summer months, both Minneapolis and St. Paul are well above the record paces set just last year.
Six people among a group of twenty were charged last week with felony theft for their roles in a series of “flash mob” robberies from several retail stores the day after Thanksgiving. Best Buy stores in Burnsville, Blaine and Maplewood were targeted, as well as a Dick’s Sporting Goods outlet in Richfield. Televisions, computer tablets, a hoverboard and other electronics totaling more than $26,000 were taken by the armloads by this organized group.
The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office charged Raymone Wright, 22; Nathaniel Spears, 27; Shaimee Robinson-Love, 18; Na-Touri Ross, 19; and two 17-year-olds. Wright and Spears never should have been out on the streets.
According to a criminal complaint, Wright has a prior felony conviction for third-degree assault in Hennepin County in 2020 in which he hit another man with a tire iron, causing a gash that had to be closed with surgical staples. Wright was on supervised probation when he was charged with the flash mob thefts.
Similarly, Spears had pending charges of a felon in possession of a firearm at the time he was implicated in the theft ring. Spears also has a 2019 felony conviction for third-degree assault in which he knocked one woman unconscious and dislocated the shoulder of another. He was given probation, according to court documents.
Flash mob thefts also occurred elsewhere in major cities around the country in November, most notably in the San Francisco Bay area. This is the first case in which organized thefts of this magnitude have taken place in Minnesota. Authorities should continue to identify the other people involved in this crime spree and prosecute the offenders to the fullest extent of the law and incarcerate the most serious of these habitual criminals to send a strong message that this criminal behavior will not be tolerated.
[photo credit: CBS]