8 charged in Plaza Frontenac smash-and-grab that ended in Illinois

Eight people were charged in federal court on Wednesday with stealing more than two dozen handbags from a luxury mall in St. Louis County.

The individuals, all from Chicago, were charged in the Eastern District of Missouri with taking 30 bags in a smash-and-grab at the Plaza Frontenac mall on Nov. 26, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. They are:

▪  Dejuan Wingard, 21

▪  Mario Washington, 24

▪  Jacob Lee, 27

▪  Derrick Crowder, 24

▪  Darius Bowdry, 21

▪  Terrence Bell, 25

▪  Julian Campbell, 22

▪  Keyshyala Thomas, 22

Prosecutors allege the group of eight ran to the Chanel counter in Saks Fifth Avenue shortly after it opened, took the bags and smashed the some of the store’s fixtures.

They then ran into two getaway cars and fled east on Highway 64. Frontenac Police chased after the cars but stopped pursuing them as speeds cracked 100 mph.

Later that morning, according to prosecutors, the Illinois State Police and other local departments from southern Illinois were able to stop the defendants’ car, which contained 16 of the stolen handbags, and take the defendants into custody.

They initially were held at the Montgomery County Jail but are now in federal custody.

Interstate transportation of stolen property carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and fines up $250,000, according to prosecutors.

Casey Bischel: 618-239-2655, @CaseyBischel