The last member of a gang of Hartford friends to face charges for a more than $100,000 “Grab and Go” spree targeting high-end retailers across the Northeast faces years in prison after pleading guilty Wednesday to theft charges in federal court.
Jahliil “Stretch” Parrott, 24, was charged along with seven others from in and around Hartford with interstate theft for bolting out of high end retailers from New York to New Hampshire with arm loads of designer items and racing away from store security and police in rented cars with phony license plates.
The group was responsible for about 60 grab and go thefts from retailers in every New England state and New York between October 2019 and November 2020. Parrot has admitted being involved personally in 34.
Similar crimes have taken place around the country as, federal prosecutors said, thieves such as those in Hartford exploit the COVID pandemic by taking advantage of overtaxed law enforcement. As is the case elsewhere, prosecutors said the Hartford thieves used social media to sell stolen goods. Parrott and his gang stole so much they needed to rent storage units to hide it.
At one point, federal prosecutors said Parrott, with some of the others, was robbing stores around the region every few days. In November 2019, he was accused of hitting five Polo Lauren, TJ Maxx. Burberry, Balenciaga and Macy’s stores in suburban Boston and on Long Island in New York for about $40,000. Parrott faces additional charges in New York for biting a store security guard who tried to stop him during the Macy’s theft.
Federal authorities said Parrott and the others would walk into stores like normal shoppers, grab goods and race out where an accomplice waited in the getaway car. In some cases, the thieves led the police on chases, federal authorities said.
“This was an organized scheme carried out by a network of individuals who not only committed more than fifty “grab and go” robberies, but used rental cars and fraudulent license plates to evade law enforcement and then sold the stolen goods on social media as well as on the street,” the U.S. Attorney’s office said in a court filing.
Parrott had a criminal record and was incarcerated briefly before being indicted in the grab and go thefts. Charged with him are Paige James, Andres Barclet, Aysia Ryan, William Tisdol, Jordan Braithwaite, Janezia Miller and Tashanique Blizzard.
Parrott faces three to four years in prison when he returns to court for sentencing. He and the others also are ordered to repay $118,000 to the retailers.