Busted in Berks: Group suspected in Victoria's Secret thefts along East Coast

$300K+ of stores' merchandise stolen, police say

WYOMISSING, Pa. - A brazen crime spree that spread up and down the East Coast of the United States may have come to an end in Berks County.

Police on Monday identified the five people they arrested following the theft of more than $3,000 worth of merchandise from the Victoria's Secret store at the Berkshire Mall in Wyomissing last Friday.

But, according to police, those same suspects could be responsible for stealing 100 times that amount. The alleged thieves, all from the Baltimore area, are suspected of stealing more than $300,000 worth of merchandise from Victoria's Secret stores along the East Coast, according to Spring Township police.

Busted were Lyric McLaughlin, Deonte Griffin, James McCarter, Twanika Greer, and Justin Inman.

Each of the five suspects was committed to the Berks County Jail on $750,000 bail after being arraigned on charges that include retail theft, receiving stolen property, and conspiracy.

In addition, McLaughlin, Griffin, McCarter, and Greer were charged with robbery for their alleged role in the Berks crime; Inman, the driver of the getaway car, was charged with fleeing or attempting to elude an officer, police said.

McLaughlin, Griffin, McCarter, and Greer, police said, entered the Victoria's Secret store in Wyomissing shorty before 5 p.m. Friday and began filling blue fabric bags with merchandise, even after being confronted by a store employee.

McLaughlin then pulled out a bottle of pepper spray and pointed it at the employee's face, saying, "Don't touch me or I will mace you," according to court documents released Monday.

McLaughlin then pushed another employee, who approached and told her to stop filling the bags, which she continued to do, police said.

Police said the four suspects then fled the store and left in a white Chevrolet Impala being driven by Inman. The car was spotted a short time later on Route 222 and followed by Spring Township police to the Mohnton exit and into the Grings Hill Estates area of the township, where the car crashed and the five occupants got out and fled on foot.

Two of the suspects were chased down, two were found hiding under decks, and the fifth, who initially got away, was found a short time later, police said.

The loot of lifted lingerie --  70 items worth $3,037.80 -- were recovered, police said.

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