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Second suspect arrested in Palm Desert Gucci store robberies

Deputies at the Gucci Store following a robbery (10/18/23)
Deputies at the Gucci Store following a robbery (10/18/23)

Police announced the arrest Tuesday of a second suspect in connection with robberies this past October at the Gucci Store in Palm Desert.

The Riverside County Sheriff's Office said an additional theft occurred at the same business on the afternoon of Feb. 12. The circumstances were also similar to the robberies back in October.

Isaiah Abdullah, 26, of Los Angeles was identified as the suspect by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department and Los Angeles Police investigators. He was arrested on March 13 after a search warrant was served in the 4200 block of S. Figueroa Street.

Abdullah remains in custody at a Los Angeles County jail, where he was being held on $1 million bail.

Authorities said Abdullah was also determined to have joined Nikolas Mallory, 25, of Los Angeles in the Palm Desert robberies.

Mallory was arrested on Oct. 22 in Los Angeles. According to the Sheriff's Office, he is suspected of multiple robberies/felony thefts from Nordstrom stores in Los Angeles, thefts along El Paseo in Palm Desert, and other crimes in Riverside County and the Los Angeles area and Riverside County.

According to jail records, Mallory remains in custody in a Los Angeles jail on $3.9 million bail.

A third person was taken into custody as Abdullah was arrested. The Sheriff's Office said that Ishmael Baptist was found to have conspired in similar incidents investigated by the San Diego Police Department, Costa Mesa Police Department, Newport Beach Police Department, Livermore Police Department, and the Palo Alto Police Department.

Baptist has not been identified as a suspect in the Palm Desert thefts.

Authorities said that the California Department of Justice has adopted the case based on the state-wide crime spree from these three suspects. The California DOJ announced last week that they filed multiple felony charges, including organized retail theft, robbery, and grand theft against the suspects.

"The suspects allegedly conducted smash and grab style thefts by running into the stores, grabbing purses and other high dollar items, before running out. The suspects allegedly ripped the bags off of the displays even when the items were connected to displays with locks. Merchandise was stolen from Burberry, Prada, Sunglass Hut, Louis Vuitton, Bottega Veneta, Michael Kors, Gucci, Coach, Versace, and Maison Margiela, worth approximately $309,752."

- California DOJ (3/19/24)

Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco shared a statement on the arrest.

“This was an extensive investigation which led to the identification and arrest of suspects in Los Angeles. Soft-on-crime policies and laws have allowed retail theft rings to emerge as a growing problem in California, which requires a close working relationship with local law enforcement agencies in different jurisdictions. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Office will aggressively identify and arrest retail crime suspects and will remain engaged with DOJ to ensure these suspects are prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Bianco wrote.

News Channel 3 I-Team investigator Karen Devine uncovered what desert cities and law enforcement are doing to deter big city crime like in this case from invading the Coachella Valley, following several high-profile robberies.

Stay with News Channel 3 for any new developments on the case.

Article Topic Follows: Crime

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