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San Francisco Serial Shoplifting Suspect Charged With 15 Counts, Faces Arraignment Wednesday

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- A suspect in a shoplifting incident at a San Francisco Walgreens seen on a viral video had a series of charges leveled against him, including seven other shoplifting-related incidents, District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced Wednesday.

Jean Lugo-Romero was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon on 15 separate charges for shoplifting incidents between May 11 and June 19. Charging documents accused Lugo-Romero of robbing from two Walgreens and a CVS drug store, allegedly hitting the same Walgreens store in Hayes Valley four days in a row and a fifth time two weeks later.

San Francisco police said officers arrested Lugo-Romero at a CVS on the 400 block of Haight Street on Saturday morning after observing him clearing shelves of cosmetics and stuffing them into a duffel bag. He had allegedly shoplifted from that same store two days prior.

Police said Lugo-Romero was the person seen in a widely-circulated video stuffing merchandise into a bag and riding a bicycle out of another store as a security guard and customers watched.

"Local businesses and neighborhood stores are the backbone of our community, and we are working to protect San Francisco stores and consumers," said Boudin in a press statement. "In addition to our prosecutions, our office is engaged in numerous strategic partnerships, dismantling the criminal networks that make these crimes profitable."

Boudin said his office was partnering with Miami-based loss prevention and tech-enabled security firm ALTO Alliance to coordinate efforts  of retailers, police, and prosecutors in addressing retail theft in San Francisco and the cycle of recidivist retail crime offenders.

"The 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," said Ray Adams, COO for ALTO USA in a press statement.

Boudin said the DA's office was also working with the California Highway Patrol's Organized Retail Crimes Task Force to fight organized retail crimes and the networks that support them.

"We will continue to develop new ways to focus efforts upstream to address the root of these crimes," said Boudin.



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