Three arrested in connection with Modesto Sunglass Hut thefts, police say

·3 min read
Andy Alfaro/aalfaro@modbee.com

Three people were arrested Thursday in connection with a string of thefts at Sunglass Hut in Modesto and other cities after they allegedly drove a stolen Acura SUV to Vintage Faire Mall and attempted to steal merchandise again, police said.

Modesto Police arrested 25-year-old Corey Wyatt of Vallejo, 22-year-old Rayquan Murray of San Leandro and 19-year-old Jada Aikens of San Francisco, according to a news release. They were spotted by detectives conducting surveillance on Wyatt, who was the main suspect related to the thefts.

The Modesto-area thefts began in late April when four people entered the store wearing face masks and grabbed 200 sunglasses in less than a minute before fleeing in a gray Honda with stolen license plates, the Modesto Bee previously reported.

A similar incident occurred May 4. This time, a mall security guard grabbed one of the bags carried by an unidentified female suspect, the release said. Wyatt and the female then allegedly took the bag back before fleeing.

Wyatt and two or three other accomplices arrived May 12 in a Toyota Camry reported stolen out of Atwater and allegedly stole more merchandise before fleeing in the stolen vehicle, the release said.

On Thursday, detectives spotted Wyatt arriving as a passenger around 4:30 p.m. in a stolen Acura SUV, according to the release. Three people got out of the SUV and entered the mall wearing masks and hoods. When the three attempted to enter Sunglass Hut, employees recognized them and stood in the entrance to block them from getting into the store.

The three walked away and entered Macy’s, where police said they stole about $10,800 worth of cologne and other merchandise.

Detectives from property and major crimes units surrounded the suspects as they ran out of the store and toward the SUV, the release said. The suspects attempted to run from officers. One suspect continued resisting arrest even after a bean bag round was deployed, so detectives tased him. All three were then taken into custody.

MPD found a loaded firearm in the stolen SUV during a search following the arrests, the release said.

Murray, who allegedly drove the SUV on Thursday, faces preliminary charges of burglary, conspiracy, grand theft, resisting arrest, felon in possession of a firearm, vehicle theft and possession of stolen property.

Aikens faces preliminary charges of burglary, conspiracy, grand theft and robbery.

Wyatt faces preliminary charges of two counts of robbery, five counts of burglary, five counts of conspiracy, grand theft, resisting arrest, vehicle theft, possession of stolen property and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

He had several other warrants out for his arrest by Manteca Police, Walnut Creek Police, San Francisco Police, Alameda County Sheriff’s Department and Monterey Police for similar crimes, MPD said.

Sunglass Hut’s Loss Prevention alleges Wyatt is responsible for stealing an estimated $2 million worth of merchandise across the state, according to the release.

MPD is still working to determine if Aikens and Murray were involved in the previous Modesto thefts.

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