Police: Burglars busted for swiping $36K in Gucci products from Maryland Saks Fifth Avenue

Devonte Jermaine Brooks, left, and Dion M. Dean, right. Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. (Montgomery County Police)

The crew of burglars who targeted a Saks Fifth Avenue in Montgomery County have come to realize that crime does always not pay.

As of this week, five of the seven alleged suspects who swiped $36,000 in merchandise from the luxury department store have been charged with a variety of theft counts. Two suspects remain at large.

On the morning of Tuesday, July 31, all was calm and orderly at the Friendship Heights Saks location. Shoppers perused the clothing racks as associates assisted with customer inquiries. But then around 11:30 a.m., a pack of seven "smash and grab" burglars stormed through the front doors and headed straight for the Gucci section. An employee shouted for security as the crew lifted pricey purses, handbags and belts from shelves and tables. In their haste, the group broke two glass displays, worth approximately $5,000.

According to court documents, a few of the suspects briefly assaulted two Gucci salespeople. The store's loss prevention officer — who happened to be outside at the time of the incident — intercepted the group as they ran off with 12 handbags and purses, plus 20 belts. Each belt retailed for $500. The purses' combined sticker price was around $26,000.

The loss prevention officer witnessed the suspects pile into two waiting vehicles, a Volkswagen and Toyota. A passerby managed to take a photo of the VW's Maryland license plate. That piece of evidence, combined with the store's surveillance video helped detectives compile their case.

Saks Fifth Avenue Smash and Grab Suspect List:

Devonte Jermaine Brooks, age 23, of the 1000 block of 13th Street in SE DC

Dion M. Dean, age 27, of the 5200 block of Newton Street in Bladensburg

Justin Lamar Taylor, age 26, of the 7200 block of Flag Harbor Drive in District Heights

Trashawn Anthony Trammell, age 24, of an unconfirmed address

Samuel Cordell Whitmire, Jr., age 23, of the 5400 block of North Morgan Street in Alexandria

No mugshots are currently available for Taylor, Trammell or Whitmire, Jr.

According to authorities, Brooks has a history of grand larceny in Maryland, Virginia and New York. His criminal record also includes drug distribution, destruction of property, assault and conspiracy to commit theft.

Brooks bonded out of jail last week, paying $750. Court records show he has one child and lives with his mother. He faces up to 46 years in prison.

Precise criminal history and bond for Dean, Taylor, Trammell and Whitmire, Jr. were not immediately known.

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