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'Prolific' San Francisco Retail Theft Suspect Back In Jail After New Arrest

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- A woman, released on zero bail after being arrested for 120 alleged incidents involving thefts from the Target at Stonestown Galleria, was back in custody after a new arrest and for ignoring a court order to sign up for electronic monitoring, according to the San Francisco District Attorney's Office.

Prosecutors had opposed Aziza Graves' release from jail. She had been charged with eight felony counts of grand theft and 120 misdemeanor counts of petty theft.

But a San Francisco Superior Court judge let her out and ordered her to sign up for electronic monitoring. She apparently ignored his order.

"Ms. Graves violated the court ordered terms of her release by committing a new theft, and by failing to sign up for electronic monitoring," District Attorney Chesa Boudin's office said in an email to KPIX 5. "Therefore, we are seeking her detention without bail. Judges alone make decisions about custody and release, so we cannot say whether the court will grant our detention request."

"We previously opposed her release to OR and had requested that she instead be released directly to the Sheriff's Department to be fitted with electronic monitoring device prior to her release," the statement continued. "The judge instead decided to release her to another county."

Graves was arrested in November at the Target store following an investigation by the DA's office and the police department for thefts totaling more than $40,000 in value between October 2020 and November 2021.

"The suspect in this case has been a particularly brazen and prolific retail theft offender," said Police Chief Bill Scott in a prepared statement at the time of the November arrest. "We hope this case — like many others on which we partner with our local prosecutors — sends a strong message to would-be shoplifters that their lawless conduct won't be tolerated in San Francisco."

According to the DA's office, in nearly all of the alleged incidents at the Stonestown Target, Graves used self-checkout kiosks to scan merchandise and then paid one dollar in cash, or in some instances, one cent. Graves allegedly then would leave the kiosk without completing the transactions.

Former San Francisco Assistant District Attorney Brooke Jenkins, now part of the Chesa Boudin recall effort, says what should have happened was for the DA's office to ask for cash bail on Graves.

"At the time of her arrest, she was not eligible to be detained without bail and so, in this circumstance, it would've been a prime case to ask for some type of nominal bail not only to to effectuate maintaining public safety, but also to send a message to Miss Graves that her behavior is not going to be tolerated," she told KPIX 5.

Graves is now being held on $25,000 dollars bail. Typically only violent or sexual crimes qualify defendants to be detained without bail.

Jenkins says filing charges is one thing, but the technical legal follow-through matters as well. "

It's that despite individuals being charged, they are being released immediately and permitted to pick up new cases or the resolutions of their cases are extremely lenient," said Jenkins. "So essentially, it appears that Chesa Boudin is gaslighting San Francisco with massive press releases about charging individuals when in reality they are being permitted to run rampant through the city.'

Rachel Michelin, president of the California Retailers Association says cases like Ms. Graves send a message.

"They are realizing without consequences to their behavior, they're going to continue with the behavior," said Michelin. "What example does that send to other people? When people know that they can get away with this, they're going to do it."

Andria Borba contributed to this report.

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