Walgreens theft convictions announced by San Francisco D.A. Boudin

A Walgreens store in Miami, Florida. (File photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

San Francisco's district attorney's office on Monday announced the conviction and sentencing in a high-profile Walgreens theft from last May. 

Jean Lugo Romero, who pled guilty to felony grand theft and misdemeanor petty theft, was sentenced to 16 months in prison and one-year probation, according to District Attorney Chesa Boudin's office. 

The brazen incident was caught on video and became an early flash point in examples of viral videos touting crime running rampant in the city. Lugo Romero is seen grabbing items off the shelf from a now-permanently-closed Hayes Valley Walgreens store, placing them into a garbage bag and then riding a bicycle through the store, past an employee and a security guard, to make an escape through the front door. 

These types of videos have been used as ammunition against Boudin, who critics say is too lenient on crime. Boudin faces a recall election this summer. A recent poll suggests that recall effort has strong support. 

Last summer, the closure of multiple Walgreens and CVS stores made headlines because of the narrative that rampant theft in San Francisco was going unpunished. Whether these type of drug stores supersaturated areas like downtown San Francisco and the obliteration of foot traffic due to the pandemic and the havoc that wreaked on the economy, were also factors, would be the flip side of that narrative.  

In addition, the D.A.'s office said a jury convicted Ahmad Shabazz for a series of unrelated Walgreens petty thefts. Shabazz stole from Walgreens in five separate incidents. 

"Whether the work of organized retail theft rings or of individual suspects, the burglaries impacting our local businesses will not be tolerated," said Boudin. "The sentence and verdicts handed down are just one way we are working to hold individuals accountable for harm caused by retail theft in San Francisco. We are also continuing our work with partner agencies to dismantle the organized networks which make these crimes profitable."

The D.A.'s office is partnering with ALTO, an international organization that works with law enforcement and prosecutors on retail theft and loss prevention. Boudin's office said this partnership helped identify both Lugo Romero and Shabazz. 

ALTO said Lugo Romero has been given a stay away order from two Walgreens employees, two Walgreens stores, and one CVS store.

Shabazz is scheduled to be sentenced on April 15.