I'm trying to figure out where the logic stream from the OP happened. The criminals in question jumped the guys from the range because of all of their firearms stuff, not because they wore 5.11 pants. As the crime description did not include the taking of the gentlemen's clothing, it is safe to assume that the brand or style of clothing had next to nothing to do with the crime in question except that it was randomly on the victims when the criminals saw the actual target of the crime, their rather nice firearms and the ancillary equipment.
As for someone recognizing a vest, fanny pack, backpack, brand of pants, etc. These are all pretty much by people in the LEO, tactical, and/or CCW lifestyle. I have yet to hear about anyone walking by a group of thugs and having said thugs go, "Hey man, you like those Eotech pants?" or "Those Blackhawk light tactical pants be smokin', ese!" When I wear my 5.11 vest around the worst I get is "How's the fishing?" or "You catch anything?"