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Politics Authorities planning to file felony charges in San Francisco retail thefts

23:56  23 november  2021
23:56  23 november  2021 Source:   thehill.com

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San Francisco and the Bay Area were repeatedly hit by mobs of thieves over the weekend, including on Friday night in Union Square. Multiple people broke the windows of a Louis Vuitton in the city and "emptied out" the store of its high-end merchandise. Some police and retailers pointed to California’s Proposition 47 for the increase in crimes, which reduced shoplifting charges regarding the theft of 0 or less from felonies to misdemeanors. In 2018, state legislators passed a temporary law in response to complaints surrounding the law, which established a new crime of organized retail theft .

Retail theft has emerged has a hot issue in San Francisco as stores cope with a crime spike. But feelings about shoplifting can be complicated. A customer enters a Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. store in San Francisco . Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg. Sarah Holder is a writer for CityLab in San Francisco , focused on urban politics, housing, and work.

San Francisco's district attorney is preparing to announce felony charges against eight people arrested in connection with a mass retail theft that occurred Friday night.

Authorities planning to file felony charges in San Francisco retail thefts © Getty Images Authorities planning to file felony charges in San Francisco retail thefts

District Attorney Chesa Boudin told local news station KPIX 5 on Tuesday that he was close to announcing the charges against the eight suspects, who were part of an organized group that stole more than $1 million in a series of smash-and-grabs at various stores in Union Square, a shopping plaza in the city. Boudin said 25 additional individuals were involved in the crime, and police were working to apprehend them.

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The thefts — in San Francisco , San Jose, Walnut Creek and Hayward — were “unacceptable. Period, full stop,” said Newsom, who appeared in San Francisco at a press conference aimed at bolstering the uptake of coronavirus vaccine boosters. “I have no empathy, no sympathy, for these folks and they must be held to account,” Newsom said, adding that the budget request he submits soon to the Legislature will contain far more funding for retail theft investigations and other quality of life issues for city residents.

Right after San Francisco come Baltimore, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Sacramento. Criminal activities at retail cost retailers an average of nearly 0,000 for every billion in sales, according to NRF. The scope of organized criminal acts has broadened in recent years, with three in four DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is the depiction of retailers in San Francisco fighting organized retail crime confined to particularly “bad” neighborhoods in that city or is it a problem across the country regardless of where stores are located? What are retailers and others doing to address the issue and

"We make sure there are consequences," Boudin said. "We are doing everything in our power to make sure San Francisco is safe and feels safe."

Retail stores nationwide have dealt with a surge in thefts and break-ins. Last night, 20 people broke into and stole from a Nordstrom in Los Angeles. But San Francisco has seen a high volume of the organized crimes, and police have been adding officers to its Organized Retail Crime Unit to address the issue in the city.

Boudin said in the Tuesday interview that San Francisco police are "spread thin" and are hard-pressed responding to all property crimes. The district attorney is facing a recall election in June as he sustains criticism for his allegedly lax policies - including releasing some low-level offenders and refusing to prosecute some offenses - that some say have invited crime.

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SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Multiple windows covered with plywood tell a story of a city that lived through a spree of organized thefts in the heart of San Francisco 's shopping district. "We were shocked that it was so brazen," said Emily Tanner, tourist from Texas. Emily Tanner and her family arrived to the city from Texas on Sunday. As a response to this crime, the San Francisco Police department is planning to close several streets in Union Square. At the end of the day it's all about perception.

Walgreens has closed stores in San Francisco because of shoplifting.Credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images. Good morning. Soon after moving to San Francisco in 2016, I walked into a Walgreens in North Beach to buy an electric toothbrush. Brendan Dugan, the director of the retail crime division at CVS Health, called San Francisco “one of the epicenters of organized retail crime” and said employees were instructed not to pursue suspected thieves because encounters had become too dangerous. “We’ve had incidents where our security officers are assaulted on a pretty regular basis in

But Boudin noted that the spate of retail crimes is not unique to San Francisco.

"Anybody who tries to say the crimes we witnessed last weekend are the result of a specific policy by a specific elected official, is trying to distract you from the bigger picture issues," he said. "This is far bigger than any one official or any one policy."

After the Union Square incident, Boudin tweeted that such a mass theft "must not happen again."

Boudin has set up a "retail theft task force" that is working on more than six investigations to "dismantle fencing operations that make crime profitable," according to his Twitter feed.

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According to the San Francisco Chronicle, roughly six retail stores in San Francisco's Union Square were boarded up this week, including a Louis Vuitton. Twitter user Michelle Tandler shared several photos of the boarded-up retail stores in the city, writing: "This is what downtown San Francisco looks like right now."In a subsequent thread of tweets, Tandler shared photos of stores such as Zara, Burberry, Lacoste, and Louis Vuitton covered in wooden boards to protect them from potential theft.This is what downtown San Francisco looks like right now. (????1/x) pic.twitter.

usr: 1
This is interesting!