Dawn Lyles, Steve Coates, of U First Fashion & Sports In District Heights, Md., say teens robbing those in designer clothing like the idea of trendy colors, hot labels

11:28 PM, Dec 3, 2012   |    comments
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DISTRICT HEIGHTS, Md. (WUSA) -   It is the latest crime involving hot styles: a 17-year-old was robbed at North Point High in Charles County of his expensive Nike sneakers last Thursday.

On Tuesday, 17-year-old Chavez Myers will face a judge in the fatal stabbing of 18-year-old Olijawon Griffin of Olney that all started when Myers and friends allegedly stole Griffin's pricey Helly Hansen coat.

Dawn Lyles, the co-owner of U First Fashion & Sports in District Heights explains the rise of the trend. "They like the colors, they like the fact that it says "HH," and it's just different," she said.

When you think Helly Hansen, you most likely think of U First Fashion & Sports in Prince George's County. Lyles and her cousin Steve Coates are still shocked teens would kill for clothes.

"We have kids of our own, and we would not like to see that happen to anyone," said Lyles.

Coates says the coats cost between $100 and $280, and teens can't get enough. "We get three or four calls a day about coats that we don't have, and the sad part about it is, it's getting hard to get. What changed is the economy changed, so not just for Helly they're robbing for, they're robbing for anything," he said.

It was almost a year ago that 19-year-old father-to-be David Lee Robinson was gunned down and killed in Northeast D.C. over his Nike Rookie basketball shoes. They cost $200, and cost him his life.

Coates and Lyles sell Nikes, Helly Hansen and more at their three stores. Coates says he'll do what he can to make sure no teen has to steal. "You don't have the money, we are the type of company and business that we're like 'okay, what you got?' We'll work with you, we'll make it affordable so you can buy without taking it from somebody else," he said.

Coates says that because he and his family are from the community, they keep the prices lower, and offer layaway on a case-by-case basis. But he and his cousin also want to remind teens who are feeling the heat that  "The clothes don't make the person, I try to tell people it's not what you wear, it's who you are," he said.

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