'These are not petty thefts': Nine face felony charges in organized retail thefts in San Francisco

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced that felony charges were brought against nine people in connection with organized retail crimes in Union Square on Friday.

The suspects were identified as Jamisi Calloway, 24 of San Francisco; Kimberly Cherry, 28 of San Francisco; Francill White, 53 of San Francisco; Ivan Speed, 34 of Oakland; Tomiko Miller, 23 of Concord; Raynard Jones, 32 of Riverdale, GA; Edward James, 32 of San Francisco; Michael Ray, 27 of San Francisco; and Daron Wilson, 38 of San Francisco.

They face an array of felony charges including looting, grand theft, burglary, and possession of stolen property. The suspects are expected to be arraigned on Wednesday.

Police said more arrests are forthcoming.

"These are not petty thefts. This is not misdemeanor conduct. This is felony conduct," Boudin said firmly.

High-end retailers in Union Square like Louis Vuitton, Fendi, and Dolce & Gabbana weren't the only stores hit by thieves, though those incidents received the most attention through social media. Boudin said shops in the Outer Mission and Mid-Market were also impacted.

"This is not something limited to one neighborhood or designer store. This is something that affects us as San Franciscans," Boudin said.

Additionally, Boudin said he plans to work with other district attorney to combat the spate of retail thefts regionally.

While the recent incidents have some residents on edge, San Francisco leaders are encouraging people to shop and dine in the city.

The mayor and police chief said they're cracking down on brazen robberies and crime to keep the city safe for shoppers with the holiday season underway.

"I know that people feel a certain kind of way because there are a number of stores that are boarded up, but they're still showing up, they're still shopping, and we are still there, said Mayor London Breed. "We have our police officers in those garages as well."

Both the mayor and police chief agree that there needs to be consequences to breaking the law in efforts to deter criminals.

"We have an issue with people repeatedly doing the same act over and over again we have to figure that out and we need to make the rest that is that absolutely must we need to work with all parts of the system to make sure that people are held accountable," said Chief Bill Scott.