VENTURA COUNTY — Just as Butch Cassidy’s legendary “Hole in the Wall” gang from the turn of the 20th century became the subject of a multi-continent manhunt following their brazen record of bank and train robberies, when today’s criminals earn themselves a nickname law enforcement agencies have their nefarious activities on their radar and aren’t far behind.
Proving once again that while history may not exactly replicate itself, certain patterns of criminal behavior consistently generate focused police interest, the March 28th arrests of San Francisco area residents 22-year-old Damon Hooker, 24-year-old Kryrie Grayson, 24-year-old Shakia Vanderbilt, and 23-year-old Precious Pittman followed a string of burglaries perpetrated by the quartet throughout the city of Thousand Oaks, the city of Camarillo, and other southern California communities dating back to March 1, 2017.
According to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Peter Frank, deputies became interested in the activities of the aforementioned suspects with the burglary of a Thousand Oaks burglary that netted the thieves “about $2000 in merchandise,” which was the predicate to no less than “five other burglaries that day spanning from the city of Glendale to the city of Camarillo,” with a total take of more than $10,000 in stolen goods and merchandise.
The immediately ensuing investigation led Thousand Oaks Police detectives to identify Grayson and his cohorts as “part of a larger organized retail theft group called ‘The Rainbow Crew’, believed to regularly travel up and down the coast committing numerous burglaries and strong-armed robberies.”
Authorities credit “The Rainbow Crew” with stealing in excess of $1,000,000 worth of merchandise throughout the state.
On March 28th, detectives were informed that their suspects had returned to a Thousand Oaks retail establishment, but when deputies arrived at that location, Grayson and the others fled northbound on U.S.101, traveling at high speed some 40 miles with units of the California Highway Patrol in pursuit.
The fleeing vehicle was ultimately brought to a halt by the deployment of spike strips, whereupon CHP officers “detained the four suspects,” and eventually remanded them to the custody of Thousand Oaks Police Investigators. Hooker, Grayson, Vanderbilt, and Pittman were all transported to Ventura County Jail, where they were booked on charges of conspiracy to commit a crime, multiple counts of burglary and possession of burglary tools, while Grayson was additionally charged with felony evading.
All four remain in custody on $250,000 bail each at Ventura County Jail, where the rainbow presumably ends.
Photos: Ventura County Jail Booking