16 Defendants Charged in Retail Theft Conspiracy Spanning the United States
News from the Office of District Attorney George Gascón
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 3rd, 2016
CONTACT: ALEX BASTIAN (415) 553-1931
MAX SZABO (415) 553-9089
16 DEFENDANTS CHARGED IN ORGANIZED RETAIL THEFT CONSPIRACY SPANNING THE UNITED STATES
SAN FRANCISCO – Today, District Attorney George Gascón announced that 16 defendants have been charged for thefts from high-end retail establishments for losses totaling approximately $225,000 in San Francisco. Additionally, the District Attorney’s Office assisted other counties to investigate and prosecute 10 additional defendants alleged to be responsible for an additional loss of approximately $215,000. The charges range from robbery, grand theft, commercial burglary to conspiracy.
“5 percent of offenders are responsible of 90 percent of all crime,” said District Attorney George Gascón. “From retail theft to auto burglary to conspiracy, my office’s Crime Strategies Unit is reviewing evidence from previous cases to enable prosecutions that reflect a repeat offender’s culpability in prior crimes – rather than simply the crime that led to arrest. This ensures that when police catch a repeat offender, the consequences they face are commensurate with the impact they’ve had on the community.”
Traditionally, crimes are investigated and reviewed individually. The Crime Strategies Unit (CSU), however, is a cutting-edge entity within the District Attorney’s Office that connects the dots between cases currently under review and other crimes that found to have similarities. In this case, CSU began investigating in August of 2015, and they were able to connect one particular group of thieves to dozens of incidents all over San Francisco. Additional investigation lead to the revelation of a connection between the thefts in San Francisco and thefts in Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, Honolulu, Phoenix, Houston, and elsewhere.
This case is a result of extraordinary cooperation between the Union Square Business Improvement District, SFPD’s Central Station, and SFDA’s Crime Strategies Unit. Additional thanks goes to the US Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance for providing essential resources to make these investigations possible.