Real Life Somerville Police Stories:Saks 5th Ave at Assembly Row



On Saturday, May 30, 2015, I was on duty and assigned to the Assembly Row area as Unit A-2. At approximately 6:12PM, I was dispatched to the Saks Off 5th store (300 Canal Street) on a reported larceny.
When I arrived on scene, I saw that store employees’ Derik Bettencourt (Loss Prevention) and Zach Consalvi (Store Manager), had detained a male directly across the street from the business. I exited my cruiser and Mr. Bettencourt immediately informed me that the male he had stopped stole merchandise from the store.

I escorted the suspect to the outlet’s Loss Prevention office to further my investigation. As we walked to the office, I asked Mr. Bettencourt what the man had stolen. The suspect interrupted and stated, “sunglasses”. To be clear, I did not ask him any questions up to that point, he spontaneously uttered a description of the items he had stolen. Immediately following Mr. Brown’s utterance, Mr. Bettencourt handed me three pairs of sunglasses which he had removed from Mr. Brown’s person.

When we finally arrived at the loss prevention office, I identified the suspect as Mr. Gregory Brown. I began a search of his backpack and found two pairs of brand new Nike sneakers with the packing paper still inside of them. One of the pairs was exactly the same as the shoes that Mr. Brown was wearing. Mr. Brown said that he had stolen the footwear from the Nike Factory outlet in Wrentham, Massachusetts.

Given the fact that Mr. Brown was volunteering so much information, I read him his Miranda rights from a card that I keep with me at all times when I am working. Mr. Brown acknowledged these rights and I continued my search. I located a yellow J. Crew T-Shirt in his bag with the tag still attached. I asked Mr. Brown if he had stolen the shirt as well. He acknowledged that he had stolen it from the J. Crew outlet at Assembly Row approximately two days prior.

As I concluded my search of Mr. Brown’s backpack, I located two pairs of pliers and a pair of sunglasses. The sunglasses had a Saks Off 5th tag attached. Mr. Bettencourt said that Mr. Brown had also stolen those sunglasses. According Mr. Bettencourt, Mr. Brown used one of the pairs of pliers to remove the security sensors from each of the stolen items. At that point, Sergeant Ward arrived on scene as my backup and I placed Mr. Brown under arrest. He was transported to Somerville Police Headquarters and booked by Lieutenant Mulcahy in the usual manner.

Once Mr. Brown was secured in the Prisoner Transport vehicle, I asked Mr. Bettencourt to explain what he had witnessed. Mr. Bettencourt pointed out that Mr. Brown had been coming into the store regularly in the days prior. He said that he had suspected him of stealing but never witnessed concealment. He claimed to have found sensor tags in the areas where Mr. Brown would look at merchandise. Mr. Bettencourt said that when he saw Mr. Brown enter the store and loiter around the sunglass display, he watched him closely on the store’s surveillance system. Mr. Bettencourt said that he saw Mr. Brown make motions as if he was cutting the sensors off of the sunglasses. He then said that he saw Mr. Brown deposit the sensor tags into the pockets of pants that were on display nearby. He also said that he saw Mr. Brown conceal at least one pair of sunglasses before exiting the store. Mr. Bettencourt claimed that everything he saw was recorded by the store’s CCTV system and that he could make the footage available upon request.

I photographed each price tag of the sunglasses that Mr. Brown had stolen and attached the photo’s to this report. The value of the sunglasses was $369.96. I allowed the store to retain their merchandise in an effort to preserve their profitability as the items were still in salable condition. Finally I took custody of the pliers (Evidence Tag: 15025022-1), Nike Sneakers (Evidence Tag #: 15025022-2) and J. Crew T-Shirt (Evidence Tag #: 15025022-3) and they have been submitted into evidence.
Based on my observations at the scene, the witness statements and the suspect’s statements, I will be filing a criminal complaint application against Mr. Brown. Research of his Board of Probation record revealed that he has been convicted of “Shoplifting” at least two times and “Receiving Stolen Property” at least once. With this information in mind, the criminal complaint application will list charges of “Larceny over $250” (Victim: Saks Off 5th), “Shoplifting by Asportation 3rd Offense” (Victim: J. Crew) and “Receiving Stolen Property Subsequent Offense” (Victim: Nike Factory Outlet).

Respectfully submitted,

Officer Michael Perrone #296

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