I-Team exclusive: Max Wade planned takeover robbery

The I-Team has learned that Max Wade, the teen who stole Guy Fieri?s Lamborghini, had an even more elaborate crime planned.
January 22, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
Thursday afternoon, Marin County teenager Max Wade will be sentenced after a jury trial for stealing celebrity chef Guy Fieri's Lamborghini and for attempted murder in an unrelated drive-by shooting. But, the ABC7 News I-Team has learned of an even bigger crime Wade planned.

Prosecutors will raise this new scheme -- a takeover robbery of a famed San Francisco jewelry store -- as another reason why Wade should receive a stiff sentence. The best case scenario Wade faces is 20-years to life with the possibility of parole.

When he was 16-years-old, Max Wade rappelled into a San Francisco dealership and stole celebrity chef Guy Fieri's Lamborghini.

A year later he pulled off a drive-by shooting in Mill Valley, trying to scare off the teen who was dating a girl he liked.

"It's amazing, he's obviously very intelligent and some of his stuff was definitely the work of a very sophisticated criminal," said Greg Garrett, lead detective on the Wade case.

For the first time, Garrett tells the I-Team about a 30-page dossier Wade compiled -- plans for a takeover robbery of Shreve and Co. Jewelers in San Francisco's Union Square.

Noyes: "How elaborate were the plans?"
Garrett: "Well, he had photographs of many of the employees. He had their names, some biographical information on some of the employees."

Wade also had a picture of the Shreve alarm box and a long equipment list -- gun belts, radios, an AK-47, and San Francisco police uniforms -- some of it was found in a Richmond storage locker when he was arrested.

The dossier says Wade planned to set off a diversion at nearby Macy's -- a small bomb or smoke device.

"And then have two people go into Shreve's dressed as police officers," Garrett said. "And he had two Hollywood-style, very expensive masks, rubber masks and do a takeover robbery and then flee via the roof."

Garrett says Wade planned to pick up his two accomplices by helicopter; that he inquired about flying lessons and had a nighttime photo of the Shreve roof in the dossier.

Noyes: "Did he actually identify a helicopter?"
Garrett: "He did have a tail number of a helicopter that we located on the peninsula that is actually a Robinson 44 helicopter."

The chopper was at San Carlos Airport. The model is just big enough to handle four people.

Dan wanted to ask Wade's attorney about the Shreve allegations, but he declined to be interviewed before Thursday's sentencing.

Robert Bryan, a longtime criminal defense attorney, wonders, "Does this kid live in the movie theater, is he living in a fantasy world? What's amazing is he pulled some of it off."

We asked Bryan to look at a 400-page brief the defense has filed for Thursday's sentencing. It includes police reports and family court documents that describe a long history of violence in Wade's home, growing up.

They indicate his mother slapped him across the face on several occasions and that his father choked him when he was three, leaving red marks on Wade's neck. They also indicate that years later, Wade told a social worker he had to intervene when he found his father strangling his mother with a bath towel.

The only trial his father faced for domestic violence ended with a hung jury.

Bryan says the judge should consider Wade's childhood before sentencing him, "A long history of trouble in the family, of violence affects young people, growing up in that environment. You can't put this person in a vacuum and say he's a bad egg. He's a product of some terrible things that happened in the home environment."

Bryan says Wade appears to have mental health issues that won't be helped by 20 or 30 years behind bars. He believes Wade should be sent somewhere where he can get help.


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