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Press Release

Ringleader of High-End Clothing and Jewelry Heist Crew in Philadelphia and its Surrounding Suburbs Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Louis Mathis, 49, of Philadelphia, PA was sentenced to 120 months’ imprisonment, three years’ supervised release, and restitution of $398,960 by United States District Court Judge Gerald J. Pappert following his conviction on charges of Hobbs Act robbery and interstate transportation of stolen goods.  A co-defendant, Hasan Knight, is scheduled to be sentenced for his conviction on similar charges on Friday, January 17, 2020 at 10:00 a.m., also before Judge Pappert.

Defendants Mathis and Knight both pleaded guilty to federal charges in October 2019, arising from a series of robberies, burglaries, and thefts of department stores in Philadelphia and its surrounding counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey in 2016. The men and their accomplices robbed or burglarized these businesses, typically to obtain high-end clothing and jewelry, and transported the stolen merchandise (in cars they had stolen) to Philadelphia. Mathis, the leader of this crew of thieves, then fenced the stolen items to shops on Jewelers’ Row and South Street in Philadelphia and to designer clothing sellers.

“Mathis and his accomplices thought they could make a quick buck by victimizing legitimate businesses and passing off the stolen goods as their own,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “They were wrong. We will aggressively use all available tools at the federal level to protect businesses and their employees against this type of predation and to keep the community safe.”

“This smash-and-grab crew got bolder as it went along — from overnight break-ins to brazen robberies during business hours that terrified employees and patrons,” said Michael T. Harpster, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “They looted these places, fenced the stolen goods, and pocketed the illegal proceeds. In the end, though, crime doesn’t pay, and has instead led to an extended stay in federal prison. The FBI Violent Crimes Task Force is gratified to see Mathis and his criminal crew off the street.”

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

The case was investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sarah Damiani.


Suite 1250, 615 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

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Updated January 14, 2020

Project Safe Neighborhoods