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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Connecticut

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Hartford Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Role in Northeast "Grab and Go" Theft Scheme

Leonard C Boyle, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that ANDRES BARCLETT, also known as “Coolie,” 27, of Hartford, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford to 15 months of imprisonment, followed by two years of supervised release, for participating in an extensive commercial larceny spree.

This case stems from “Operation American Steal,” a long-term multi-agency investigation into numerous “grab and go” thefts from various retail fashion stores in Connecticut and nearby states.  A “grab-and-go” scheme is a type of theft where one or more perpetrators enter a retail store, grab as many items of clothing or other goods as they can carry, leave the store without paying for the merchandise, and depart in a waiting getaway vehicle.

Barclett was part of a network of individuals who in 2019 and 2020 committed more than 50 grab and go thefts from Polo Ralph Lauren, T.J. Maxx, Balenciaga, Burberry, Macy’s, Marshalls, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Tommy Hilfiger, Sephora and other stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York.  They then transported the stolen merchandise to Connecticut and sold the items on the internet or the street.

Barclett participated in at least 13 thefts resulting in losses of more than $50,000.

Judge Bryant ordered Barclett to pay $19,968.85 in restitution.

On September 15, 2020, a grand jury returned a six-count indictment charging Barclett and seven other individuals. Barclett has been detained since May 8, 2020, since his arrest on unrelated state charges.  On August 25, 2021, he pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of conspiracy to transport and possess stolen property.

This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Hartford, New Canaan, Wrentham (Mass.), Auburn (Mass.) and Nassau County (N.Y.) Police Departments.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Margaret Donovan and Brendan Keefe.

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Updated December 1, 2021