comscore 16 charged in string of thefts across several Western states | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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16 charged in string of thefts across several Western states

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS / SEPT. 25

    A model showed off some of the Salvatore Ferragamo women’s Spring-Summer 2017 collection last month in Milan, Italy. Salvatore Ferragamo shops were among those targeted by the so-called “Rainbow Girls” theft ring.

More than two dozen people were charged or are being investigated in connection with a theft ring that stole more than $400,000 worth of merchandise from stores in Western U.S. cities, including Honolulu, the San Francisco district attorney’s office said Monday.

San Francisco prosecutors charged 16 of the defendants for the theft of more than $200,000 worth of clothing, purses and other merchandise from high-end stores such as Louis Vuitton and Salvatore Ferragamo, the district attorney’s office said.

An additional 10 were being investigated in other Western U.S. cities after the group stole an additional $200,000 worth of merchandise, including items from San Jose, Calif.; Houston; Dallas; Los Angeles; Honolulu; and Seattle, according to the district attorney’s office. The group is accused in dozens of thefts dating to 2015.

Honolulu police said members of the group, known as the “Rainbow Girls” or “Rainbow Crew” because of their bright-colored clothing, were in Honolulu in the spring and committed at least one theft at Ala Moana Center. Honolulu police worked with San Francisco authorities to identify one woman who was a part of the group and was captured on surveillance footage.

Police said the group members entered the store with shopping bags from another store and the woman placed merchandise in a bag before leaving. She left the state before her arrest.

In San Francisco, District Attorney George Gascon said at a news conference announcing the charges: “We’re taking something that on its face might have been a single or maybe two or three events, and we have been able to connect this to many other events.”

Linking the defendants to multiple thefts increases the potential sentences they face, he said.

The group in some cases sent as many as 10 or 12 people into a store with bags to grab as much merchandise as possible before running out the door, Assistant District Attorney Frank Carrubba said.

Some of the thefts became violent, with the thieves using pepper spray on store employees or brandishing knives, Carrubba said. There were often getaway drivers.

The charges included robbery, grand theft and commercial burglary.

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Star-Advertiser reporter Rob Shikina contributed to this report.

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  • These type of mainland criminals, are becoming more savvy with the ever changing criminal justice system, that is coming after them.

    They are becoming better, at hit and run thefts. They know, that time is not on their side.

    They will be gone, after reading or seeing this news media story.

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