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Old 01-08-2016, 10:09 AM
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Default Ex-con busted for swiping $400K worth of designer goods


Ex-con busted for swiping $400K worth of designer goods
By Rebecca Rosenberg

January 7, 2016 | 10:04pm

Lakisha Pettus seen in court. Photo: R Umar Abbasi

A California ex-con was busted for stealing thousands of dollars in designer merchandise from fashion houses like Chanel by intercepting shipments to warehouses and stores, authorities said.

Lakisha Pettus, 40, was picked up at her home in California Wednesday by NYPD detectives and extradited to New York, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

Pettus made over 200 calls to FedEx — using more than a dozen aliases and 10 different cellphones — falsely claiming to be an employee of various luxury retailers, prosecutors said.

She claimed there were issues with the shipments, such as a problematic loading dock or storefront construction, and would ask that the shipping company hold the package.

“Miss Pettus used a dizzying array of aliases,” said prosecutor James Vinocur at her arraignment Thursday Manhattan Supreme Court.

Even Pettus couldn’t keep them straight sometimes starting a phone call with one name and ending it with another.

Once she got FedEx to hold the packages, Pettus would send a third-party courier to pick them up and deliver them to various locations in San Francisco.

Her elaborate scheme that ran from June to Nov. of 2015 netted Pettus $400,000 in designer duds.

When authorities searched her home they discovered a sizable amount of the booty, including an array of diamond jewelry, Rolex and Gucci watches, Chanel and Louis Vuitton purses and a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes.

But Pettus claimed her enviable trove of jewelry and handbags were gifts from wealthy men. “All the stuff in my house is my stuff,” she insisted to police. “I date men that has businesses. I can get whatever I want.”

In addition to the merchandise, investigators also recovered a Glock 26, ammunition and 9 cellphones.

She faces grand larceny, scheme to defraud and criminal impersonation charges. Justice Larry Stephen held her without bail.

Pettus was busted for a similar scheme in 2013 in California, where she tried to intercept shipments from Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys.

Her lengthy rap sheet stretches back two decades and includes numerous battery and theft charges.
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