SAN FRANCISCO - Prosecutors in San Francisco have charged a man accused in a series of brazen shopliftings around the city. The district attorney is touting a new partnership aimed at bringing the city's shoplifting crisis under control.
We're talking about just one shoplifter charged today in eight separate incidents.
San Francisco's District Attorney's Office Wednesday filed formal charges against Jean Lugo Romero dating back to mid-May, including commercial shoplifting, and robbery at various Walgreens and CVS locations in the city.
His attorney pointed out the case has already captured headlines around the Bay Area. "I think there has been unique pressure in this case in that this case has garnered some media attention."
The prosecutor points out that this is far from the suspect's first encounter with law enforcement. "I should also point out the defendant does have a pretty lengthy criminal history," said Larry de Souza.
The city's district attorney is highlighting the charges as he works to show how seriously he takes out-of-control shoplifting throughout San Francisco.
The prosecutor released a statement that read in part, "Local businesses and neighborhood stores are the backbone of our community, and we are working to protect San Francisco stores and consumers," said D.A. Chesa Boudin.
There have been dozens of high-profile cases of seemingly consequence free shoplifting at pharmacies throughout the city.
Seventeen Walgreens and numerous CVS pharmacies around San Francisco have reportedly been shut down as a result of rampant theft.
The district attorney's office is pointing to a new partnership with ALTO Alliance, an organization that works to reduce shoplifting, as an indication of how seriously he's taking the problem.
"ALTO Alliance is a multipronged solution that combines comprehensive analytics, intelligent prosecution, and deterrent marketing to provide results of fewer incidents," according to a promotional video produced for ALTO.
The organization said it works with retailers, police, community members and prosecutors with the aim of reducing repeat offenses.
The organization responded to inquires about how it hopes to impact San Francisco with a statement reading in part, "ALTO attorneys represent the retailer in court as the victim of crime, seeking judicial outcomes for recidivists that change their behavior. These outcomes could range from drug or mental health treatment referral, or as a last resort, incarceration," said Ray Adams from COO, ALTO USA.
In the case of the Lugo Romero, the suspect who was in court on Wednesday, he entered not guilty pleas, and is scheduled to be back in court on Friday to determine whether he should remain in jail.