Brother, Sister Charged in Attempt to Steal Dress

Times Staff Writer

A brother and sister were in custody Thursday after they allegedly tried to steal a $225 designer dress from Neiman-Marcus at Fashion Island and shot at pursuing security guards, Newport Beach police reported.

Andre Pierre Brown, 18, and Denise Lajauna Brown, 24, both of Los Angeles, were booked at Newport Beach Jail on charges of commercial burglary and suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.

According to police, security officers at the Neiman-Marcus store watched Denise Brown remove a white leather dress from the store without paying. When the security officers tried to arrest the woman, she fled to a vehicle waiting outside, police said. Andre Brown allegedly then stepped out of the vehicle and fired a .22-caliber revolver at the guards before speeding off with his sister.

Newport Beach and Irvine police spotted the vehicle a short time later and a 15-minute chase along Jamboree Road ended when the pair were arrested without incident at Bristol Street at about 6:15 p.m.


Newport Beach Detective Bob Worthen said the charges are burglary instead of shoplifting because the Browns apparently entered the premises with the intent to commit petty theft. “She (Denise Brown) was observed by the security guards the whole time, and she went directly to the dress rack and grabbed the merchandise and took off,” he said.

Bond for the Browns was set at $10,000 each. Denise Brown was later transferred to the Orange County Jail where there are facilities for women.

No one was injured in the incident, Worthen said.