Hundreds of watches, belts, bracelets, ties and bottles of make-up now are in the hands of Prince George’s County police after detectives busted what they say was a one-man theft operation involving more than $60,000 in stolen merchandise from an Upper Marlboro Nordstrom distribution center police announced Monday.
Donnell Angelo Norman, 32, who has residences in Waldorf and Fort Washington, had been working for a contracting company at the Nordstrom, 839 Commerce Drive, since May, and was tasked with moving shipments from delivery trucks to the store’s warehouse. Police said he actually was stashing the merchandise in his clothing and personal vehicle to later sell and return to other Nordstrom stores for a tax-free profit.
Police now are seeking Norman, who originally was arrested after police seized $8,000 in stolen merchandise from his vehicle. He was subsequently released on bond, but after police discovered the remaining stash of stolen items in his residence and discovered a chain of text messages between himself and others to whom he allegedly was selling stolen goods to, they put out a second warrant for his re-arrest.
Items of value included $1,500 to $2,000 DKNY and Michael Kors watches, Prada sunglasses, Juicy Couture handbags and Mac mascara. The Nordstrom stores he would return valuable items to were located in Pentagon City and Tyson’s Corner, Va.
Video surveillance from Nordstrom obtained by county police during its investigation revealed Norman stuffing a heavy, black winter coat with store merchandise from inside the store’s warehouse on a 97-degree day.
Sgt. Aubrey Thompson said they discovered Norman has been taking 15 to 20 15-minute “smoke breaks” and Thompson noted Norman does not actually smoke.
Thompson, of the organized retail crime unit, said he never had seen a theft operation of this kind.
“This is the first time I’ve seen one person steal so much without using a bag,” he said. “He was taking orders on his cell phone and we found that in his dining room he was displaying the items just as if they were in a display case in Nordstrom.”
Thompson said police were able to recover $40,000 from Norman’s home and vehicle, and think he sold an additional $20,000 worth of Nordstrom merchandise prior to the seizures.
Since Norman’s release on bond, police have been trying to relocate him and went to his parent’s home in Fort Washington, where detectives spoke with Norman’s father about his whereabouts. Thompson said either Norman will turn himself in soon, or police will locate him.
Prior to working as a contractor at the Upper Marlboro Nordstrom, Thompson said Norman was working as a security guard for an unknown company.
For Norman’s first charge of theft of less than $10,000, he has a preliminary court hearing set for Sept. 24 in Upper Marlboro, according to online Prince George’s County District Court records. Court records do not list his latest charge of theft of more than $10,000 but less than $100,000 because he has yet to be apprehended.
A female who answered the door at Norman’s Waldorf residence and allowed the police to enter the home and discover the merchandise also will be facing charges soon, Thompson said.
In addition, the individuals that had been purchasing items from Norman via Facebook and text messages also might be facing charges as the investigation continues, Thompson said, who noted he had been texting at least 10 other individuals regarding the sale of stolen merchandise. He said those additional 10 might be charged on grounds that they were aware the items were stolen.
Defense attorney information for Norman was not listed with the courts by Monday, according to online court records.
Calvin Norman, who identified himself as Donnell Norman’s father, said he was just made aware of the incident Monday afternoon.
“This is all new to me, going to have to get some information on this,” Calvin Norman said. “Not going to comment anymore until I find out more about what’s going on.”
Calvin Norman would not say whether or not Donnell Norman would turn himself in to authorities.