Donnell Vannison, Sr., of Baltimore, was sentenced on March 16, 2018 to serve five years in the Division of Corrections after a Queen Anne’s County jury convicted him of his thirteenth theft. Michael “Mick” Cuches prosecuted the case, filed subsequent offender penalties and argued to the Circuit Court Judge, the Honorable Thomas G. Ross that Mr. Vannsion should be sentenced to the maximum allowed by law. Judge Ross stated that he agreed with Mr. Cuches and sentenced him to serve five years at the Division of Corrections.
On October 14, 2016 Ms. Diane Rosa, the manager of Famous Footwear, was approached by a customer who advised that a man with a large birthday bag with multiple colored balloons on it was stealing shoes in the women’s section. Ms. Rosa went to the women’s section and made eye contact with Mr. Vannison. Mr. Vannison then abruptly left the store with the large birthday bag without stopping at the register. Ms. Rosa then found two empty boxes in the area where Mr. Vannison was recently and immediately realized that the shoes were stolen. Ms. Rosa called Outlet Security, Ms. Sandy Lindenberger who was in her office, around the corner from Famous Footwear. Ms. Lindenberger responded on her Segway to Famous Footwear and saw Mr. Vannison holding the large birthday bag walking away from a red Lexus car towards the entrance to the Under Armour store. Ms. Lindenberger saw a second male in the driver’s seat of the Lexus along with a minor child that was crawling over the center console. Ms. Lindenberger wrote down the license plate and immediately called 911 when she saw Mr. Vannison run out of the Under Armour store with the large birthday bag appearing to be full. Mr. Vannison then got into the front passenger seat of the Lexus. Ms. Lindenberger was able to give vehicle description, registration plate information and a description of the occupants as she watched the car race out of the Outlet parking lot.
Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Deputy First Class Mitch Jones responded to the Outlets, interviewed witnesses, obtained written statements, and descriptions of the stolen merchandise. He was able to relay that information to other law enforcement officers through his police communications radio.
A look out was then given over police radio for the subjects, the vehicle, and the birthday bag. Maryland Transportation Authority Police Corporal Gavin Seward was on duty sitting at the base of the Bay Bridge on the western shore when heard the look out. He saw the car travelling on westbound Route 50 past his location a short time later. Cpl. Seward was able to pull the Lexus over in the area of the Range Rover dealership. Queen Anne’s County Sheriff Deputy Jennifer Aaron, assigned to the School Resource unit, had just gotten off her shift at Kent Island High School and was headed to her home in Anne Arundel County. She was monitoring her in car police radio communications as she was approaching the Range Rover dealership and was given jurisdictional authority to assist Cpl. Seward. Queen Anne’s County Sheriff Lieutenant Mark Meil and Deputy First Class Ryan Davidson also responded to the scene of the traffic stop. Upon his arrival DFC Davidson observed the unique birthday bag matching the description given by the witnesses on the floorboard where Mr. Vannison was sitting.
A subsequent search of the vehicle’s trunk revealed six stolen pairs of Nike running shoes. Specifically, the deputies found the original two reported stolen pairs of shoes, and another four pair. All from Famous Footwear. Deputies also recovered multiple stolen items from other stores at the Queenstown Outlets and the Annapolis Mall. DFC Jones was able to return all of the stolen merchandise to Famous Footwear within twenty four hours after the theft.
Mr. Cuches recommended the defendant be sentenced to the maximum allowed by law due to his 12 prior theft convictions, as well as his prior convictions for Assault, Resisting Arrest, Burglary, and Escape. Mr. Cuches commended the quick actions of Ms. Rosa, the Queenstown Outlets Director of Security, Ms. Lindenberger, and all of the law enforcement officers involved. Specifically, Cpl. Seward, Lt. Meil, DFC Jones, DFC Davidson, and Dep. Aaron. “The quick thinking and speedy actions of these citizens and police officers along with their ability to work effectively in concert lead to the immediate apprehension and successful prosecution of an individual with a lengthy criminal record.” Mr. Cuches commented.