District Attorney’s Office Files Charges in Shoplifting Case and Announces Partnership to Combat Retail Theft in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO- Today, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced the filing of 15 charges against Jean Lugo Romero, who is alleged to be the individual depicted in a widely-circulated video of a shoplifting at a San Francisco Walgreens last week. In addition to charges in connection with that incident, the District Attorney’s Office is charging Mr. Lugo Romero in connection with seven other shoplifting-related incidents, all of which occurred between May 11 and June 19, 2021. Mr. Lugo Romero is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon.

The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office has charged Mr. Lugo Romero with the following counts:

  • Grand Theft (Penal Code 487(a)) related to a May 11, 2021 incident at a Walgreens located at 2145 Market St.;
  • Second Degree Robbery (Penal Code 211) related to a May 29, 2021 incident at a Walgreens located at 300 Gough St.;
  • Second Degree Robbery (Penal Code 211) related to a May 30, 2021 incident at a Walgreens located at 300 Gough St.;
  • Second Degree Burglary (Penal Code 459) related to a May 31, 2021 incident at a Walgreens located at 300 Gough St.;
  • Second Degree Robbery (Penal Code 211) related to a June 1, 2021 incident at a Walgreens located at 300 Gough St.;
  • Second Degree Burglary (Penal Code 459); Grand Theft (Penal Code 487(a)); two counts of Commercial Shoplifting (Penal Code 459.5(a)); and two counts of Petty Theft (Penal Code 490.2) related to a June 14, 2021 incident at a Walgreens located at 300 Gough St.;
  • Commercial Shoplifting (Penal Code 459-5(a)) and Petty Theft (Penal Code 490.2) related to a June 17, 2021 incident at a CVS located at 499 Haight St.; and
  • Attempted Grand Theft (Penal Code 664/487(a) and Commercial Shoplifting (Penal Code 459.5(a)) related to a June 19, 2021 incident at a CVS located at 499 Haight St.

One such partnership is the ongoing relationship with ALTO, an international organization that coordinates the loss prevention efforts of retailers, police, and prosecutors, which has been working with the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office to address retail theft in San Francisco. When a retail crime occurs, ALTO assists retailers in filing police reports and gathering evidence. ALTO tracks cases through the prosecution process, working with prosecutors to ensure they have the evidence they need to hold those who commit these crimes accountable. ALTO’s approach combines strong reporting, deterrent marketing, community engagement, and accountability to change criminal behaviors.

ALTO representatives have praised the responsiveness of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office in combating retail thefts and supporting the stores affected by it. “We commend the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office for its proactive approach to retail theft cases,” said Ray Adams, COO for ALTO USA. “The ALTO Alliance partners with law enforcement, prosecutors, and retailers around the world with the objective to break the endless cycle of recidivist retail crime offenders and in doing so, improve the community. Our partnership seeks not only to hold the people who commit this type of crime accountable, but, even more importantly, to address the root causes driving this kind of conduct, and make sure that those who are motivated by mental health or drug addiction are getting the treatment they need to not reoffend.”

The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office has also partnered with the California Highway Patrol’s Organized Retail Crimes Task Force to disrupt, dismantle, and deter organized retail crimes and the networks that support support them. The Task Force develops and shares investigative strategies between ten local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as retail partners.

District Attorney Boudin emphasized the proactive approach the District Attorney’s Office has taken. “We value the ALTO Alliance’s assistance in streamlining these cases,” said District Attorney Boudin. “We will continue to develop new ways to focus efforts upstream to address the root of these crimes.’

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Retail stores are not independent of the communities that they exist in. They are part of an ecosystem with many factors that affect customers, employees, and sales. Loss prevention tries to stay up to date with what is happening in the store’s ecosystem by using the newest technology. But even this isn’t enough because we don’t know exactly what is happening out there. There is a disconnect between retail stores and their communities, we just can’t see it all.

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