District Attorney Chesa Boudin Announces Conviction and Sentence in Viral Shoplifting Case and Guilty Verdicts in Petty Theft Trial

SAN FRANCISCO— Today, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced the conviction and sentencing of Jean Lugo Romero for stealing items from a San Francisco Walgreens, an incident which was captured in a widely-circulated video of Mr. Lugo Romero grabbing items from the store and leaving on his bicycle. Mr. Lugo Romero has pled guilty to felony grand theft and misdemeanor petty theft and was sentenced to 16 months prison and one year probation, along with other terms.

Additionally, on Friday, April 1, 2022, a jury returned guilty verdicts in 13 counts against Ahmad Shabazz for a series of petty thefts at three separate Walgreens. A jury found Mr. Shabazz guilty of 13 of the 14 counts of misdemeanor petty theft brought against him for five separate incidents in which he stole from Walgreens. 

“Whether the work of organized retail theft rings or of individual suspects, the burglaries impacting our local businesses will not be tolerated,” said District Attorney Chesa Boudin. “The sentence and verdicts handed down are just one way we are working to hold individuals accountable for harm caused by retail theft in San Francisco. We are also continuing our work with partner agencies to dismantle the organized networks which make these crimes profitable.”

The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office has instituted numerous measures to respond to retail theft, in addition to holding those who commit harm through prosecution. We have partnered with ALTO, an international organization that coordinates the loss prevention efforts of retailers, police, and prosecutors, formed an alliance of Bay Area County District Attorneys, and we currently are involved in multiple operations to combat retail theft in San Francisco. 

ALTO’S partnership with Walgreens and local law enforcement, including the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office and the San Francisco Police Department allowed for the identification, arrest, and prosecution of Defendants Shabbaz and Lugo Romero.  ALTO, in partnership with Walgreens, was instrumental in securing material evidence, witness coordination, and being the point of contact for all parties. ALTO will continue serving as a victim advocate for our clients, implementing meaningful solutions to public safety concerns, and greatly appreciates the thorough work of SFDA’s prosecutors in the numerous cases against Defendants Shabbaz and Lugo Romero,” remarked Xochitl Carrion, Lead Attorney for ALTO Alliance. 

Mr. Lugo Romero’s case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Leah Abraham. In addition to the sentence of 16 months state prison and one year of probation, Mr. Lugo Romero has been given a stay away order from two Walgreens employees, two Walgreens stores, and one CVS store.

Mr. Shabazz’s case was successfully prosecuted by Elizabeth Ginise and Megan Wang. The San Francisco Police Department Taraval Station was instrumental in investigating and tracking these incidents. Mr. Shabazz is scheduled to be sentenced on April 15th in department 29.

Originally posted by the San Francisco District Attorney on April 4, 2022.

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