Connecticut ‘grab-and-go’ thief sentenced to 30 months in prison – Hartford Courant

A Windsor man who participated in a multi-state robbery spree that drained about $100,000 from retail clothing stores has been sentenced to 30 months in prison, federal authorities announced Monday.

Jahlil “Stretch” Parrott, 24, must also serve three years on probation, US attorney Vanessa Roberts Avery said.

The case stems from “Operation American Steal,” an investigation into numerous “takeout” thefts from fashion stores in Connecticut and neighboring states. Under a “take-out” system, thieves grab as many clothes or other goods as they can carry and escape in a waiting vehicle.

Parrott was part of a ring that committed over 50 such thefts in 2019-20 from Polo Ralph Lauren, TJ Maxx, Balenciaga, Burberry, Macy’s, Marshalls, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Tommy Hilfiger, Sephora and other stores of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York, federal officials said. The crew took the stolen goods to Connecticut and sold them online and on the streets, officials said.

Parrott was involved in at least 34 robberies, resulting in losses of more than $98,000, authorities said. During one of the robberies, he bit a loss prevention officer who confronted him as he refueled with cargo, officials said.

On September 15, 2020, a grand jury returned a six-count indictment charging Parrott and seven others. Parrott was apprehended Nov. 16 and pleaded guilty in December to one count of conspiracy to transport and possess stolen property, authorities said. His seven co-defendants also pleaded guilty and have already been sentenced.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and police departments in Hartford, New Canaan, Wrentham (Mass.), Auburn (Mass.) and Nassau County (NY). The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Margaret Donovan and Brendan Keefe.

Organized retail theft is a multi-million dollar problem across the United States. Gangs of professional pushers have been grabbing clothes and other items for years, but the National Retail Federation reported in its latest survey of retailers that more lenient penalties and prosecutions are in place. fueling an increase in these crimes. Furthermore, a major driver in the The rise in retail theft across the country is driven by the ease of selling stolen goods online, experts say.

Jesse Leavenworth can be reached at jleavenworth@courant.com


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