D.C. Police Arrest Members of Rap Group in Retail Store Thefts Targeting Cellphones

Peter Hermann and Lynh Bui, Washington Post, October 10, 2013

Members of a local rap group whose songs extol guns, money and a street-thug culture apparently lived up to their gangland-style lyrics, according to D.C. police who say members are suspected of stealing cellphones from dozens of stores in the District, Maryland and Virginia.

The brazen thefts over the past 16 months cost shops $77,000 and were carried out as customers browsed, authorities said Thursday, noting that some phones were taken by stealth—under the noses of distracted clerks—while others were forcefully ripped off shelves.

Arrested were members and associates of a group called Jet Gang, including rappers known as G-Five Weezy and Astronaut Mac. The case illustrates D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier’s continued crackdown on cellphone thefts, which account for about half the District’s 3,000 armed and unarmed robberies this year, but also shows that despite police efforts, the black market remains a lucrative place for stolen phones.

Earlier this week, police raided an electronics store on H Street NW and arrested the owner on charges that he trafficked in stolen phones and computers. They found laptops taken from a District school and a cellphone allegedly taken during a street robbery by a youth who police said sold the phone to the store, gave his parents the $250 and got a McDonald’s meal in return.

{snip}

Dustin Perry, who manages a Verizon store in Columbia Heights that was targeted Aug. 19, said three men came in about 4 p.m. and walked over to the counter. With an employee watching, Perry and police said, the men grabbed two Samsung Galaxy phones, each worth $375, yanking them out of zip-ties that held them to the tabletop and severing a cord that tethered the phones to the display case.

“It was basically a snatch and run,” Perry said. He said a phone cord snapped and hit a clerk, and one of the men shoved a sales representative into a wall during the escape.

“It takes someone pretty brazen to do this,” Perry said. “Theft is a serious problem. We have to do everything but board up the doors to keep the public from taking our stuff, which really impacts how we market our products.”

{snip}

Court documents say an informant tied the group to 17 burglaries in the District, 23 in Maryland, four in Virginia and two in North Carolina. {snip}

The five suspects are charged with multiple counts of second-degree burglary and conspiracy to commit a crime of violence. Police identified them as Dasheem Smith, 22, of Northeast Washington; Darien Wilson, 24, of Northeast; Christopher Brice, 22, of Southeast Washington; Taiwo Johnson, 20, of Southeast; and Dalvez Watkins, 22, of Suitland. Smith is known as G-Five Weezy and Wilson as Astronaut Mac.

{snip}

Representatives for the rap group’s promoter, Swagga Ave Entertainment, also could not be reached. Jet Gang has several compilations and songs on the Internet, many on YouTube, in which they flash cash and rap about guns, violence and alcohol. Members are seen downing 40-ounce bottles of malt liquor and flashing weapons as they say: “Where do you work? Put him in the dirt.” They also reference “piles of 9s,” slang for 9mm handguns.

{snip}

In another video, the rappers go back and forth in a freestyle contest with an artist named Starchill. Someone from Jet Gang raps, “We go hard to the fullest; [expletive] want to rap with a semi on my side; [expletive] went pop, pop, pop and die; hang with eights; I murder any [expletive] who eat off my plate.”

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  • Biff_Maliboo

    I think The Ink Spots started this way.

    • sbuffalonative

      I’m not sure about that but I do know rap seems to be the preferred career choice for blacks who die at the hands of other blacks.

      ‘He was gonna be a rap star just after he thought about maybe going back to school to get his GED’.

      How many times have you read that one?

      • Biff_Maliboo

        Next to “turning (his) life around,” aspiring to rap continues to be a leading killer of blacks.

        They are masters of “gonna” and “plannin’ ta.”

        He was “gonna go back to school…”

        He was “plannin’ ta start college next semester…”

        With all the grand life plans dead diversities seemed to have, I’m surprised they have the time to meet their disreputable ends.

  • Spartacus

    ….

    • MekongDelta69

      Combined IQ on the left = ca. 440.00
      Combined IQ on the right = ca. 44.00

      • Spartacus

        I think you’re overestimating it on the right…

      • Erasmus

        Those on the right are black Rhodes Scholars?

      • Oil Can Harry

        The two on the right have been heavily criticized by the black community because their pants aren’t baggy enough.

      • Katherine McChesney

        They’re worse than animals.

    • Luca

      You don’t own the copyright to that picture on the right, do you? I think I’ll enlarge it up to life size. It will look wonderful on the 20 yard line of the pistol range and I presume it will motivate me to shoot a tighter pattern next time.

      • Spartacus

        No copyright as far as I know. Have fun with your guns!

    • tickyul

      Snarfle, someone needs to make this into a bumper sticker!

    • So CAL Snowman

      Astronaut Mac is the one on the left. Pilot Pimp is the one on the right.

  • Some store front operations in the bell curve part of St. Louis are installing barricades (Barrycades) that prevent cars from slamming into the glass that is on the store’s sidewalk frontage. You can probably figure out why.

    • There’s a liquor store near me in northern Colorado Springs that has installed steel window protection against burglars and reinforced concrete barricades against ram-raiders.

      They also instituted a “no purses in the store” policy some years back.

  • [Guest]

    Dasheem, Darien, Taiwo, Dalvez, G-Five Weezy, and Astronaut Mac.

    Not to be confused with Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms.

    • MekongDelta69

      Don’t forget Mozart, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, and Rachmaninoff (not to mention a hundred others).

      I want the “Classical Crew” to be much bigger than the “Jet Gang/Swagga Ave Entertainment Crew”.

      Nahmeen? Nahmsayin’?

      • [Guest]

        Okay. And I’d throw in some Dvorák, Debussy, Ravel, and Ralph Vaughn Williams.

        >>>Nahmeen? Nahmsayin’?

        My Ebonics spellchecker informs me that the correct spelling is “gnomesain.”

    • So CAL Snowman

      I personally like Astronaut Mac, that one had me rolling on the floor.

      • [Guest]

        I know that rap and hip hop are both mountain peaks of African-American culture, but I’m deeply ashamed to admit that I’m unable to discern the distinction between them. Guess I’m just a rube. Is you down wiff dat?

        Oh, and Astronaut Mac is just the brother’s nickname. His full name is Astronaut Mac With Cheese and a Side Order of Fries to Go.

      • Brian

        Perish the thought. We know this is a random, senseless, isolated event that in no way reflects on the good folk bursting at the seams in the Capital Wasteland.

      • Sheik Yerbouti

        Especially when you consider that the only space program he’s involved in requires a 40 oz and an 8-ball.

    • Brian

      Or even Cash, Dolly, and Hank.

  • leftists are delusional

    Actual instead of aspiring rappers?

  • joesolargenius

    I believe they were merely trying to express the Black version of Country Western style entertainment ,just as the Bowery Boys were role models for blacks wearing their hat in a goofy manner there is a strong possibility that George Jones or Waylon Jennings has subliminally inspired these yoofs with their artistic expressions.They’re just being good ol black boys ,we shouldn’t judge them too harshly .

    • Brian

      Makin’ their way

      The only way they know how

      That’s just a little bit more

      Than the law will allow.

  • bubo

    Someone on another site left a comment that I very much liked. It involved putting a small amount of explosive into a phone that you could set off after being robbed. Then when Dayshantequarios tries to make a call….poof, red mist.

  • Erasmus

    Black culture is inherently dysfunctional and pathologic. Garbage in: Garbage out.

  • me

    Rap ‘Music’ was created, the Bantus claim, because they couldn’t afford musical instruments as children. This is hardly a credible statement, since Bantus steal everything they can’t afford. I’m guessing that the discipline and intelligence required to learn how to play a musical instrument is closer to the truth.

    • You noticed that, too! There’s never any acoustic instrument work in (c)rap.

    • Shirt would look better if the spelled the Caucasian part correctly.

    • Brian

      And even when they get rich, they don’t suddenly becomes masters of the pianoforte…just keep barking over a drum machine track.

    • Dale McNamee

      I LOVE the shirt !

  • I can’t imagine paying $375 for a mobile phone just so people can bother me all the time, and not merely when I am home!

  • Must have been very successful rappers if they needed to steal cell phones on the side.

  • bigone4u

    Let’s all have a laugh now and hope the Jet Gang learn their lesson because this time there was no violent assault. But after a stay at NSU (Negro State University), they’ll be on the streets again with their newly advanced criminal skills. I’ll bet that they’ll draw blood on some rival next time and draw a life stretch at NSU. Don’t get caught in the crossfire.

    • They might not go to Negro State, they might go to NU.

  • IstvanIN

    Aren’t Obamaphones good enough?

    • “Dumb” phones, available for free, have no resale value. How can a dishonest pawnshop compete with “free”?

  • My guess is that they will be mopping floors in the Happy Fun Place.

  • Katherine McChesney

    If I were a brave woman I’d say exactly how I feel about blacks but I would be censored by the moderators for my honest opinion.

  • Brian

    Members of a local rap group whose songs extol guns, money and a street-thug culture

    Second half of that sentence was redundant. ‘Members of a local rap group’ told me all I needed to know.

  • joesolargenius

    Yup those are the goofy guys I was referring to.

  • William Krapek

    This is why I am unalternately opposed to secession: we’re going to run away from these people instead of slamming them into their place? And run away from the Muslims? And run away from the Mexicans? And run away from the Jews? Are you serious?!

    Because if we’re going to start running away from this real easy stuff, plan on running away forever.

  • Dale McNamee

    Perhaps the stores should start using fake phones instead of real ones for display like they used to…
    Or find a way of “bricking” them…Then, watch the fun begin…

    • Reverend Bacon

      I think a “brick” of semtex would be HUGE fun

    • I can’t imagine why they don’t. Lots of sushi restaurants use fake plastic sushi in their storefront displays. We bought some just so I could make refrigerator magnets out of them.

    • Luca

      Fake iphones with exploding white ink in them. Purple ink wouldn’t work, it would blend too well with the perpetrators.

  • His real name is probably closer to N’DeShawnLaTavionious Washington Jackson Washington Washington Franklin Jones.