A wanna-be model and three of his buddies drove up from Washington, D.C., to rip off the Gucci store in Wrentham, a new federal indictment alleges — but the feds add they left a string of surveillance video and self-incriminating social media posts.
Three of the four suspects have been charged in a federal indictment filed last week with conspiracy and transporting more than $5,000 in stolen goods. Linworth Hayes Crawford III, 28; Ronald Patterson, 32; and Nathaniel Owens, 32, will appear in federal court in Boston at a later date to face those charges.
On Sept. 17, 2021, police were alerted to a burglary alarm sounding a little before 12:30 a.m. at Suite 545 in the Wrentham Village Premium Outlets mall — the Gucci store. The front glass had been smashed in and video surveillance showed four men entered. An employee accounting the next day showed that $32,000 of the “high-end” clothing had been stolen.
But, according to the FBI affidavit that details the alleged crime, this might not have been one of the crew’s first bash.
Special Agent Geoffrey Kelly says that he’s been monitoring a series of commercial burglaries in the eastern U.S. on stores carrying luxury brands — including Gucci, Burberry, Canada Goose and Moose Knuckles — since as far back as Oct. 12, 2020.
“Based on the method of operation of the subjects responsible for these commercial burglaries,” he wrote in the affidavit, “I believe that these burglaries are all connected.”
Patterson was quickly suspected in this Gucci burglary, according to the affidavit, as investigators have been tying him to similar burglaries and his tendency to list premium brands for sale on his OfferUp account “RJ_dont_play” as well as on social media, and always of luxury goods that match those lost in recent thefts.
That includes on the very day the Gucci store job went down, when Patterson on his Instagram account — a footnote here says “It appears Patterson was trying to be a model” — “posted images of the bags for sale, which appeared to be identical to the Gucci bags stolen during the burglary.”
The affidavit then goes on to provide a detailed accounting of how the suspects’ phones tracked their movements up — and then after the robbery, back down — the Eastern Seaboard between the two cities.
Along the way, Patterson allegedly posted little travelogues to his Instagram account, which as of Tuesday afternoon had been deleted. Even when he attempted to disguise where he was — “New Jersey,” blazed a caption of a video featuring a Waffle House in the background, which is a state without the restaurant chain — investigators used background details to suss out the crew’s whereabouts, according to the affidavit narrative.
Courtesy / U.S. District CourtLinworth Hayes Crawford III, 28, seen in older photos next to surveillance photos from a tire shop in Connecticut where the feds say the Gucci burglars had to stop to get new tire. (Courtesy / U.S. District Court)
Courtesy / U.S. District CourtA picture of Nathaniel Owens, 32, as well as surveillance from a Maryland Waffle House the feds say features him. (Courtesy / U.S. District Court)