SF District Attorney Boudin Announces Arrest of ‘Prolific’ Retail Thief on 128 Charges in 120 Incidents in Organized Retail Theft Ring

By The Vanguard Staff

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – As part of its “Organized Retail Theft Taskforce,” San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced Wednesday his office has filed 128 charges against one person for 120 incidents involving the theft of items valued at more than $40,000 from the Stonestown Target store between October of 2020 to November of 2021.

The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office has charged Aziza Graves with eight felony counts of grand theft and 120 misdemeanor counts of petty theft.

The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office claims it is currently working on more than half-a-dozen additional confidential operations.

“The suspect in this case has been a particularly brazen and prolific retail theft offender. The SFPD is committed to working with the District Attorney’s Office, and our retail community to hold her and others involved in retail theft accountable,” said Chief of Police Bill Scott.

“We hope this case — like many others on which we partner with our local prosecutors — sends a strong message to would-be shoplifters that their lawless conduct won’t be tolerated in San Francisco,” he added.

“We are committed to stopping those who participate in organized retail theft, including by dismantling the fencing networks that make this type of crime profitable. I am proud of our office’s leadership, meticulous investigation, and cross-agency coordination with the San Francisco Police Department,” said District Attorney Chesa Boudin.

The District Attorney’s Office said it “initiated the investigation and operations after Target’s Asset Protection Team reached out to the District Attorney’s Office to conduct an investigation of Aziza Graves.  The District Attorney’s Office led the investigation and coordinated the arrest of Ms. Graves at Target Stonestown.  San Francisco Police Department officers helped facilitate the arrest.”

In nearly all of the alleged incidents at Target Stonestown, Ms. Graves used self-checkout kiosks after selecting merchandise from the store floor.  She reportedly scanned the items and then submitted a nominal cash payment of one dollar, or in some instances, one cent. She allegedly left the self-checkout kiosk on each occasion without completing the transactions.”

Boudin’s office said the investigation is part of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office’s “ongoing work to deter, disrupt and dismantle organized retail theft. In addition to prosecuting individual cases, the District Attorney’s Office’s efforts include working with state, federal and local law enforcement agencies to target upstream and take down high level participants.”

Called “Operation Focus Lens,” the DA-led program, said Boudin’s office, involves “roughly 100 officers from agencies including the California Highway Patrol, the San Francisco Police Department, and the California Department of Justice and led to the recovery of more than $two million in stolen goods. Another effort “Operation Shattered Glass,” led to the recovery of more than 2,000 laptops, and $150,000.”

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9 Comments

  1. Keith Olson

    theft of items valued at more than $40,000 from the Stonestown Target store between October of 2020 to November of 2021.

    But when Target claimed they were cutting back store hours in San Francisco some people claimed it wasn’t because of theft but due to Target’s struggles:

    Keith Olsen July 8, 2021 at 9:32 am

    Ummm, did you read the article?  Target is closing its stores early, that decision was just made due to the current rise in shoplifting and their concern for their customer safety.  This is under Boudin’s regime.  But try and deflect if you must.

    Ignore Commenter

    ReplyReport comment ↓

    David Greenwald July 8, 2021 at 11:56 am
    Keith – I saw the news last week. I don’t buy it. In fact, I suggest you read our article today rather than immediately googling things.
    The data does not support the notion here is increased theft in San Francisco.
    In fact, the opposite is true. In 2018, from June 13 to July 4 – there were 3783 reported thefts in San Francisco. This year, it was 2746. So why is it all of a sudden a crisis?
    And if you google Target and store closures/ reduced hours, you find examples of it all over the country.
    So what’s happening? Target is struggling to compete against Amazon. And instead of fessing up to their business struggles, they are making excuses.

     

    1. David Greenwald

      “The data does not support the notion here is increased theft in San Francisco.”

      That is still the case.

      There is a difference between data and an anecdote.

      This is an anecdote.

      Data is not the plural of anecdotes.

      It is very unfortunate that people seem to weigh anecdotes more heavily than data, but this doesn’t change the data.

      Have a good day, respond as you wish.

      1. Keith Olson

        “The data does not support the notion here is increased theft in San Francisco.”

        As everyone has been commenting what percentage of actual thefts even get reported today?  People say what’s the use as they know nothing will happen in most cases, stores tell their employees to no longer pursue shoplifters like they did in the past.

        128 charges against one person for 120 incidents involving the theft of items valued at more than $40,000 from the Stonestown Target store between October of 2020 to November of 2021.

        So how many of these 128 incidents were even reported to the police?  I’ll bet not many.

        1. David Greenwald

          “As everyone has been commenting what percentage of actual thefts even get reported today? ”

          But did unreported thefts just start? Or has there always been unreported thefts? We have known data. We know what was reported each year. We know what that trend has been. So what you want to argue is that at the same time reported thefts are either flat or have gone down, unreported thefts have gone up. And you have to have evidence to back that supposition up. Saying that there are unreported thefts doesn’t back that up – precisely because there have always been reported thefts.

          1. David Greenwald

            Two more thoughts…

            One, this is a lesson that everyone should be reporting their thefts even if they don’t think the police will catch the person because having good data on patterns of theft is important.

            Two, in SF, when I interviewed Chesa a few weeks ago, he pointed out that the police have about a 3 percent arrest rate on reported thefts. Basically, he said, what the heck am I supposed to do, my job is to prosecute when we get the cases. Apparently the answer was create a task for and at least catch a few of the bigger fish.

        2. Keith Olson

          Mayor Breed admits that thefts aren’t being reported:

          Mayor London Breed challenged that narrative. She attributed the closingsto demographic shifts and the Chronicledutifully reportedthat “the five stores slated to close had fewer than two recorded shoplifting incidents a month on average since 2018” (while acknowledging that few stores bother to report a crime that now routinely goes unpunished). Everyone who has stood in line at a drugstore and watched thievesshove hundreds of dollars of items down their pants knew that Breed was mistaken at best or lying at worst.

          Amazon’s fault, LOL:

          Now, in a Globe exclusive, San Francisco Police Department officers revealed that the iconic Target on Mission Street between Third and Fourth Streets will be shutting its doors before the end of the year.
          This store loses $25,000 a day to shoplifting,” an SFPD officer told the Globe in lengthy, taped interviews conducted this week. “That’s $25,000 that walks out the door on average between 9 and 6 every day.”

          This guy is actually at ground zero so I tend to believe his take over some data:

           
          Asked if the presence of armed, uniformed police officers had any deterrent effect on thieves, one officer was blunt in his assessment.
          “They don’t care. There’s no consequences. Literally zero consequences. I’ve kicked out… I’ve been here since 9 AM today. I probably have already kicked out eight or nine people and I’ve recovered a thousand dollars worth of stuff alone off of that. Whether we kick them out, tell them they can’t come back, whether I put them in handcuffs and take them down to the county jail—there is no difference. Because they will not be prosecuted by the district attorney. Therefore, there is nothing documented that they can’t come back here. You know, they get no time in jail to think about what they did, right? There is zero consequence. And that’s why in this store the same exact people come in every other day and in the city the same couple percent of people are the same people committing all the car break-ins, all the robberies and all the shootings, any aggravated assaults right in town where there’s more street people, people fighting. It’s all the same exact people, and there are zero consequences. Therefore you take them to jail they get out of jail. They do it again. It’s a big circle.”
          https://californiaglobe.com/local/san-francisco/exclusive-iconic-target-store-in-mission-district-to-close-amid-a-shoplifting-tidal-wave/

        3. Alan Miller

          when I interviewed Chesa a few weeks ago,

          A little casual namedrop there again?  And for those who didn’t catch the tell:  once again Mr. Boudin by first name.

          Basically, he said, what the heck am I supposed to do, my job is to prosecute when we get the cases.

          He may be right about that.  Did you also interview Bill to get his side of the story?

  2. Bill Marshall

    There is a difference with “organized theft ring”, and unorganized, individual, “shoplifting”… just like there is between a ‘dealer’ in illicit drugs, and the ‘main supplier’… still, there are the ‘victims’ of both…

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