Even with LeBron James Nike shoes, you can’t outrun the police.
In early November, Charles Jennings, an employee of cargo transportation company Intermodal Cartage Group, allegedly stole a truck laden with 7,500 pairs of the new Lebron 12 Nike shoes, valued at roughly $1.5 million. He flashed his ID card to enter a secure lot, grabbed the truck, and drove off, selling the shoes to retailers for the next week.
When Intermodal reported the truck was gone, the Memphis Auto Cargo Task Force and the FBI used a tip to track Jennings down and arrest him on November 14. They found 700 shoes missing.
Mark Dunbar, assistant chief of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, said on Monday that Jennings knew exactly what he had stolen, asserting, “He had a pretty good idea what he had. They were Nikes and they were more valuable in that they hadn’t been released yet.” On Monday, Jennings appeared in court. He was set free on $75,000 bond, but must reappear in court soon after the new year. The plaintiffs deemed the worth of the merchandise Jennings sold as $623,280, the cost that retailers paid for the shoes, which they then sold for $200.
A cosmetic issue caused the initial colorway of the shoes, due on October 11, to be pushed back. Nike planned to offer three signature sneakers at Christmas, celebrating James, Kobe Bryant, and Kevin Durant, who would all wear them in the Christmas day games. All the sneakers have Christmas themes; among them stockings, egg nog, and snowflakes. Nike calls James’s color scheme for Christmas a green “Akron Birch.”
Sports Illustrated described the shoe thus:
The emerald green base combines with the shoe’s photorealistic camouflage upper on the Hyperposite shell. The camo pattern is inspired by Akron, Ohio’s winter weather and includes a birch tree pattern. Black and Hyperpunch micro dots integrate into the camo pattern for a seasonal touch. A notable subtlety of this shoe is the snowflake formed by small hexagons on the tongue loop.
Nike had announced in August that the “LeBron 12” sneakers would be released in seven initial colorways: LEBRON 12 NSRL, celebrating Nike’s research, testing, and analysis to help James, released October 11, LEBRON 12 Heart of a Lion, released October 30, LEBRON 12 Dunk Force, released November 11, LEBRON 12 Instinct, released November 22, LEBRON 12 Six Meridians, celebrating James’s Chinese massage therapy, released November 29, LEBRON 12 Trillion Dollar Man, released December 1, and LEBRON 12 Data, celebrating his statistics.