Getwaway driver in $48,000 Greenwich purse theft gets 1 year in jail
STAMFORD—A Mount Vernon getaway driver who helped steal over $48,000 worth of expensive pocket books from an upscale Greenwich department store was sentenced to a year in jail Tuesday.
As part of a plea deal at the Stamford courthouse, Joshua Spillman, 41, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of conspiracy to commit larceny in the first-degree and was sentenced by Judge Gary White to one year in jail and three years probation. Spillman was originally charged first-degree larceny and conspiracy.
Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Maureen Ornousky said Spillman was behind the wheel of a car on Jan. 15, 2019, when at least two other men went into Saks Fifth Avenue and stole $48,370 worth of purses.
Ornousky said Spillman brought the men to the store and waited for them steal the purses and drove them from the scene while aware of their criminal enterprise and that they were members of a “high end shoplifting ring.”
Ornousky said Spillman was prosecuted following an investigation into his cellphone data and video footage from the store.
When Judge Gary White asked Spillman if the facts claimed by the state’s attorney were correct, Spillman replied, “Yes, your honor.”
“You are pleading guilty because you are guilty?” White asked.
“Yes, your honor,” Spillman said.
Police say Spillman’s accomplices ran off with armfuls of pricey purses in the afternoon on Jan. 15. Spillman was arrested later in April and he was picked up at the Westchester County Jail in Valhalla, New York, where he was in custody.
One alleged accomplice, Gerald Smith, 48, also of Mount Vernon, was picked up in November 2019 after he was found in a Nassau County, New York, jail, Greenwich police said. Smith’s charges of first-degree larceny, organized retail theft and conspiracy to commit larceny are still pending. He is being held in lieu of a $250,000 court appearance bond at the Bridgeport Correctional Center.
Spillman has remained in jail unable to post a $150,000 court appearance bond since his arrest on April 10, 2019, which make him legible for release in three months. Once out of jail, he will be on probation for three years, during which time he could be sent back to jail for up to three years should he get arrested for another crime.
In recent years, organized bands of thieves have targeted purses, as well as other luxury items, as the merchandise of choice to steal, police say. The Internet has opened new possibilities for the sale of stolen merchandise, according to law enforcement and retail experts. The term they use is “e-fencing.”
The purses stolen from Saks were never recovered, police said.