Shoplifting suspects in Moorestown may be linked to Philly smash-and-grabs

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ByGray Hall via WPVI logo
Thursday, November 17, 2016
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MOORESTOWN, N.J. (WPVI) -- Police in Moorestown, New Jersey, have arrested four Philadelphia men for shoplifting.

And now they're trying to figure out if the same men are responsible for a series of smash-and-grab robberies in the Tri-state area.

The incident occurred at 6:27 p.m. Sunday at a Macy's store in the Moorestown Mall, located at 400 West Route 38.

Police say the men were in and out in less than 3 minutes.

The trio targeted the Ralph Lauren Polo section and snatched as many coats as they could, and even stopped to pick some up after dropping a few on the floor. They got away with $5,300 worth of jackets.

"It is kind of crazy considering the fact we go to that mall all the time," said David Huttner of Mt. Holly, New Jersey.

Police eventually tracked down the suspects, miles away in North Philadelphia.

Louis Mathis, Jermaine Johnson, Marquis Taylor and Hasan Knight, who is not pictured, were arrested Tuesday Night.

Detectives say the men were spotted casing the Center City Macy's store hours after the Moorestown robbery, but when they were spotted by security, they fled in an SUV, which was later determined to be stolen. Officers eventually spotted the SUV a couple of days later and made the arrest.

Employees who work at others stores in the Moorestown Mall, say this is a frightening image, and something always in the back of their minds.

"I do think about it that it could happen to my store. I just try to put myself in the safest possible environment," said DeShawn Jones of Mt. Holly, New Jersey.

Detectives are now trying to figure out if the Moorestown robbery is connected to similar robberies targeting high-end merchandise at the Boyds store in Center City and Macy's in Northeast Philadelphia.

"They're bold and I would say it is not right, of course, because people work hard for their jobs, people work hard for their money," said Jaleah Bernard of Willingboro, New Jersey.

The suspects are charged with theft receiving stolen property.

Bail has been set at $20,000 each.