The movie theater crawler has slithered into jail this Monday. Anthony Johnson, the man who would crawl across movie theater floors to relieve movie-goers of their credit cards was found guilt of seven charges of using a stolen credit card and two of identity theft.
There wasn’t much to go on as far as witnesses, but the 49-year-old Johnson. (AKA “Hustlin Tone”), was undone by his two female accomplices who made plea bargains with the feds in exchange for testimony.
“This was not the outcome that Mr. Johnson hoped for,” said Frank Riccio II, his court-appointed lawyer. “None of the victims who testified could identify Mr. Johnson as the thief. His accomplices did identify him, but they were motivated by their cooperation agreement with the government.”
The women, Jamie Lynn McGowan and Lashirelle Bryant, described his modus operandi. He would slither “like a snake” dipping his hands into purses, grabbing credit cards; he would then leave the theatre in their rented van and after doctoring an identification card with the victim’s name and McGowan’s photograph, would go on a spending spree.
They’d hit up Target stores, buying 10 $1,000 gift cards, phone cards, electronics and clothing. Johnson also had a penchant for designer sun-glasses.
“A good weekend was $50,000 to $70,000,” McGowan told the court. “$30 to $40,000 was a bad weekend.”
The theaters in question included Bow Tie Cinemas in Greenwich and Fairfield Cinemas. McGowan explained that Johnson chose Fairfield County with movies such as “Eat, Pray, Love” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “Twilight Eclipse” because “there’d be a lot of white women there … He said these were million dollar movies.”
After three days in court, and about two hours of deliberation, the jurors found Johnson guilty. He intends to appeal it. Sentencing is on Jan 14.