By Linh Nguyen
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin last week announced the filing of 15 charges against Jean Lugo Romero, who allegedly shoplifted from a Walgreens in San Francisco last week, as seen in a widely circulated video.
Lugo Romero is being charged with five counts of second-degree burglary at the Walgreens on Gough Street. There is also a charge for grand theft for an incident at a Walgreens on Market Street and charges of commercial shoplifting, attempted grand theft and petty theft for separate incidences at a CVS on Haight Street.
“Local businesses and neighborhood stores are the backbone of our community, and we are working to protect San Francisco stores and consumers,” said Boudin. “In addition to our prosecutions, our office is engaged in numerous strategic partnerships, dismantling the criminal networks that make these crimes profitable.”
One of the partnerships that Boudin mentioned is with ALTO, an international organization that coordinates the loss prevention efforts of retailers, police and prosecutors. ALTO is working with the San Francisco District Attorney’s office to address retail theft in San Francisco.
According to ALTO’s website, they “operationalize retailer incident data, enabling a team of attorneys and support specialists to provide actionable insights that empower collaboration between retailers, law enforcement, and prosecutors.”
When a retail crime occurs, ALTO assists retailers in filing police reports and gathering evidence. They track cases through the prosecution process and work with prosecutors to ensure they have the evidence needed to hold persecutors accountable.
ALTO’s approach combines strong reporting, deterrent marketing, community engagement and accountability to change criminal behaviors.
“We commend the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office for its proactive approach to retail theft cases,” said Ray Adams, COO for ALTO USA. “The ALTO Alliance partners with law enforcement, prosecutors, and retailers around the world with the objective to break the endless cycle of recidivist retail crime offenders and in doing so, improve the community.
Adams added, “Our partnership seeks not only to hold the people who commit this type of crime accountable, but, even more importantly, to address the root causes driving this kind of conduct, and make sure those who are motivated by mental health or drug addiction are getting the treatment they need to not re-offend.”
“We value the ALTO Alliance’s assistance in streamlining these cases,” said District Attorney Boudin. “We will continue to develop new ways to focus efforts upstream to address the root of these crimes.”
Another organization the District Attorney’s Office is partnering with is the California Highway Patrol’s Organized Retail Crime Task Force.
This task force will help disrupt, dismantle and deter organized retail crimes and networks that support them. It works by sharing investigative strategies between 10 local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and retail partners.
The District Attorney’s Office Retail Theft Task Force recovered over $8 million in stolen goods last year.
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