Kevin Durant may have had 24 steals this season, but two JFK workers are facing the long arm of the law for hijacking 24 pairs of sneakers from Durant’s exclusive Nike Collection.
Two employees at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York — Calvin Colain Nelson, 23, and Audley Russell, 47 — have been apprehended by police after they stole Kevin Durant’s (as-yet unreleased) namesake sneakers from a Taiwanese shipment and attempted to sell them over the popular social media site Instagram.
The KD 8 is reportedly the most technically advanced shoe Nike has ever created, and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant — the 2014 NBA MVP — is currently the hottest prospect in the NBA, so the pair fit together perfectly. The sneakers aren’t expected to go on sale until later this year and when they do, they are expected to retail for up to $200 per pair. The two workers however can be expecting a few criminal charges, including theft and grand larceny.
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said that suspicion was aroused when a crate of twelve Kevin Durant sneakers were confirmed to have landed in JFK, though they never reached their final destination in Canada.
It is suspected that Nelson, an airport security guard, was at the airport on the day of the theft, but Russell was the person who actually stole the shoes. Russell then sold the Durant sneakers to Nelson on the street for $80 a pair. After saving a pair for himself, Nelson put images of the sneakers on his Instagram account @SNKR_BASE, where he sold them for between $135-$300.
Nelson’s Instagram images featured captions such as “We have all sizes available! KD 8’s confirmed to be dropping in July!!!!!” and “No need for us to hide anything!” Unsurprisingly with this kind of heist, the police responded rapidly after Nelson also included images of the barcodes and serial numbers on the stolen box of the Durant sneakers.
Russell was not impressed when he found out the street value of the exclusive Durant sneakers.
“He gave me $80 to $100 a pair. I didn’t know how hot the sneakers were. I would have asked for more money.”
Russell and Nelson were both released on their own recognizance, and so they are currently roaming free, but after the case goes to trial, the pair may face up to four years in prison.
[Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images Sport]