WESTBORO (CBS) – Schuyler Gibson had a grin from ear to ear as he headed out of a Westboro Stop & Shop with two baskets full of stolen beef.
“They grabbed steaks, filets, roasts, pretty much anything in the case,” says Westboro Police Chief Alan Gordon. “They pretty much wiped out what was in the case walked out of the store, very brazen.”
Surveillance video shows the 28-year-old Gibson loading up $450 worth of meat in plain view. By the time he’s done, the butcher’s probably wondering “where’s the beef?” The shelf was almost bare.
Brian Gernrich, who is well known to police, is always close by Gibson’s side. Gordon adds, “It appears he’s their mentor.”
Investigators believe Gernrich is the ringleader, helping this crew pull off several other crimes. “He’s basically showing these people the ropes of what he’s learned but not mastered over the years,” says Chief Gordon. “He’s committed many crimes, stealing purses from women in choir practice, house breaks.”
Police say when the men walked out with the beef they headed straight to a getaway car driven by 68-year-old David Flagg.
Police have linked the group to two house breaks that have happened nearby and believe they’ve pulled off heists at Stop & Shops in several other towns. In this case an alert store manager and surveillance cameras outsmarted the so-called mentor who’s knowledge and skills just don’t add up.
Four men have been charged with all of the crimes and they all list Worcester as their most recent address. Police say they’re selling the stolen jewelry and the meat for cash to support drug habits.