Press Releases


San Francisco, CA – District Attorney Brooke Jenkins announced today that Carmelita Barela (40) of San Francisco has been charged in connection with a series of commercial burglaries in San Francisco.   Ms. Barela was arraigned on November 9, 2023, and pled not guilty to one count of felony organized retail theft (PC 490.4(a)(1)), six counts of felony grand theft (PC 487(a)), and nine counts of misdemeanor shoplifting (PC 459.5).

“Organized retail theft is a source of deep concern for the residents and businesses of our City,” said District Attorney Brooke Jenkins.  “This arrest and prosecution reflects our on-going commitment to hold repeat offenders accountable for their actions.”

Ms. Barela is alleged to have participated in a series of twenty retail theft incidents between March 30 and October 29, 2023. During this time, it is alleged that she and others stole approximately $15,079.90 worth of goods from a Bath & Body Works location in San Francisco’s Westfield Mall.  San Francisco Police took Ms. Barela into custody without incident on November 6, 2023.

This prosecution is part of the District Attorney’s Office’s Organized Retail Theft Vertical Prosecution Grant Program, which is funded by a $2 million grant from the California Board of State and Community Corrections.

Ms. Barela’s next court date is November 13, 2023, to set the date for the preliminary hearing in this matter. The District Attorney’s Office moved to detain her pending trial because of the public safety risk. The court granted the People’s motion to detain without prejudice and set no bail for Ms. Barela. The court will hear further arguments on the motion to detain at the time of the preliminary hearing in this case. If convicted of all charges she faces up to three years in State Prison.

Although charges have been filed, this remains an active investigation. SFPD and the District Attorney’s Office continue to investigate this series of thefts and are working to identify additional suspects. Anyone with information is asked to call the San Francisco Police Department Tip Line at 1-415-575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD. You may remain anonymous.

Court Number: 23018324