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Eight charged in Louis Vuitton caper

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Hennepin County prosecutors charged eight men Thursday for stealing from the high-end Louis Vuitton store in Edina.

  The Chicago-area men are Derrick Crowder, 22, William Curry, 23, Clyde Dobbs, 22, Thomas Gaston Jr., 22, Darion Hood, 21, Shawn Mondie, 21, Danny Robinson, 39, and Leon White, 29, according to the Hennepin County Attorney's office. Each was charged with a single count of felony theft. White was also charged with fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle.

  The Louis Vuitton store heist took several police agencies on a chase from the west to the east metro Wednesday when the men tried to flee with the expensive merchandise, according to the charges.

  Prosecutors said a former security guard was parked in the mall's parking lot and was suspicious of the men's van. When he saw them running out of the store dragging security ropes and tags, he called police and followed the van as it headed south on Penn Avenue.

  Numerous police agencies chased the van, with speeds over 100 mph, until it was forced to stop in Woodbury, the charges said.

  Louis Vuitton stores have been hit with similar thefts throughout the United States and the FBI has been investigating, according to the Hennepin County Attorney's office. Police and the FBI have identified several of the men charged Thursday in videos of thefts at high-end malls in other states.