Charges: True Religion employees knew about robbery before being tied up

- Snapchat helped investigators identify a fired employee accused of robbing the True Religion store at Mall of America after tying employees up in the bathroom. And the employees were apparently in on it.

According to charges:

On Sept. 5, two True Religion employees told police a masked man with a gun came into the store as it was closing, tied them up and left with $8,000 cash and bags of designer clothing.

Another employee told police she saw a Snapchat video featuring a former employee, DeAndrea Deshawn Johnson, displaying a new True Religion jacket with the tag attached and two True Religion bags. All items matched those taken during the robbery. Donzeal Marquette Epps called police the day of the robbery and said he drove a man he called “Cuddy” to Mall of America that day, and he returned to the car, pointed a gun at him and told him to drop him in Minneapolis. Epps would not identify anyone from a police lineup, which included Johnson, and Epps was arrested for his suspected involvement.

An employee told police Johnson had talked to him about robbing the store within two weeks of the robbery. Surveillance video from the store also matched Johnson’s physical description. Police recovered True Religion merchandise with tags on from Johnson’s residence. His girlfriend told police Johnson informed her of the robbery, and also told police the two employees who were tied up were both involved and received money.

Officers also arrested the pair of employees, Rota Em and Ramon Eduardo Barentine after Em admitted they were indeed involved in the robbery. Em told police he knew it was Johnson with the mask and gun, and they all “played the role” in case anyone noticed what was going on. So far, Johnson and Epps have been charged with aggravated robbery.
 

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