Two Accused of Organized Retail Theft Arraigned in Yolo on Monday

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

Woodland, CA – Taveon Thompson and Dorian Adams were arraigned Monday in the Yolo County Courthouse on multiple felonies after being arrested by Davis Police last week, following a series of thefts that began in Woodland and ended in Davis the same day.

Adams had posted $50,000 bail while Thompson, age 18 with no prior criminal record, was ultimately released on OR following some heated discussion.

According to the complaint, the two face a felony charge for committing, organized retail theft on two or more occasions with a value exceeding $950.  They also face felony conspiracies to commit a misdemeanor for each of the locations they hit.

For the Davis crime, the complaint alleges they drove to the CVS in Davis together, entered the store each carrying an empty bag, and “filled up the bag with approximately $366 of merchandise and left the store without paying.”

Deputy DA Deanna Hays expressed concern about releasing Thompson on OR, noting that he gave an address for his aunt on Pendegast Circle that did not exist.

“So that’s a fake address,” she said.  “He said he can live with his aunt, but we can’t get ahold of her.”

She added that, while he said he lives in New Orleans, “he has an ID issued in 2020 saying he lives in Antioch,” she said, “He’s been living in California for a long time for someone who says he’s living in Louisiana.

“I think Mr. Thompson is giving fake information to the court and to probation, in order to get released,” she said.  “I understand he’s 18 and has no record, but he’s not going to be able to be supervised or be found if he’s released.”

Hays charged, “This is an organized retail theft situation where we have at minimum three locations that were targeted, it’s not just one crime, it’s multiple crimes.  I have a very strong suspicion that public safety is at risk.

“I understand that people want to classify this as a property crime but if you had an 8-year-old or 10-year-old in one of these stores where multiple people come in and willy nilly start grabbing stuff off the shelves and walking out—it is terrifying.

“It is terrifying to the public the retail theft that is going on in this community right now,” she said.  “This is a huge public safety risk to release Mr. Thompson.”

Probation recommended OR and pointed out that he does not have a criminal history, it was a retail theft that did not have a victim other than a business.  She believed that even knowing where he lived, “supervision would be hard either way.”

The judge expressed concern about Thompson giving out information that may have been false.

Public Defender Peter Borruso, however, played down the misinformation as more likely an error—noting that he was interviewed by probation and was not necessarily that familiar with the area in giving an address that was false.

He also pointed out, “When you sign an OR release, you are also signing that you waive extradition” which would mean it would be easier to transfer him back to California should he return to New Orleans, one of the concerns of the DA.

Judge Dyer originally was going to go with supervised OR, but probation talked him out of it.

He added, “On this particular matter, I am going to order his personal presence at the next court date.”

Probation asked for clarification as to whether he would be able to go out of state.  She noted that this particular program “does not allow him to go out of county over 100 miles without permission of the court.”

Judge Dyer responded, “I can order him to be in contact with probation—whatever you want to call it.”  He added, “I have concerns over whether or not he’s going to show up at the next court date.”

Probation responded, “Probation does not mind supervising this client, finding him is going to be the problem.  It would be the court supervising him—the court can get a warrant for his arrest just as easy as probation.”

The next hearing is set for December 27 with orders to stay away from CVS and Walgreens in Woodland and CVS in Davis.

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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  1. Keith Olson

    I still have to shake my head at the timing of this Vanguard article below when just the weekend before there were smash and grabs in Davis where some of the perps were actually caught.  So yes, it WAS actually a threat.

    Monday Morning Thoughts: Yolo Officials Are Ready For Smash and Grabs – But Is It Actually a Threat?
    Last week, the Yolo County DA’s office put out a statement on smash-and-grab thefts – which is particularly notable since there has not been any in Yolo County.

    But part of the problem is that these types of incidents are difficult to catch. 

    If thieves do not have a reasonable fear of being caught, it doesn’t matter what the penalty is.




    1. David Greenwald

      Actually having now read what this crime actually was, I would argue that this has been way overplayed. They are charged with three felonies conspiracies to commit a misdemeanor.

      The conspiracy was: (1) drove to the CVS in Davis together, (2) entered the store each carrying an empty bag; (3) filled the bag with approximately $366 merchandise and left the store without paying.

      This is all blown way out of proportion. This wasn’t an organized theft ring, this was two kids trying to steal some stuff and sell it.

      1. Keith Olson

        Thieves Hit UC Davis, Rite Aid, CVS, Safeway Over Weekend
        A smash and grab startled customers inside a Davis CVS Pharmacy over the weekend.
        Police say four suspects went inside the store. Two headed straight to the back, the other two went to the beauty section and grabbed at least $2,000 worth of products. Police say the suspects stuffed whatever they could inside duffle bags and took off.
        According to the Davis Police Department, officers got a call about a robbery at a Rite Aid where, according to witnesses, the suspect was heard physically threatening customers with a knife.
        Police were able to arrest Anthony Wallace, 24, who is accused of taking $500 in tobacco products and alcohol.
        And on Saturday, officers responded to a Safeway after two suspects stole $1,900 worth of alcohol.

        1. David Greenwald

          The first case that has come of Yolo County is predictably weak sauce. We’ll see if others are more “organized”. Charging a felony conspiracy to a commit a misdemeanor is pathetic.

        2. Alan Miller

          Are the $2000 and $366 the same robbery?  If so, what is the discrepancy?  And why focus on the under $900’s when there are over $900’s as well?  And why ‘predictably weak sauce’ ?

          1. David Greenwald

            The numbers I used came directly off the complaint filed by the DA’s office.

            My weak sauce comment is that three burglaries by two individuals hardly constitutes some sort of organized retail crime. This is not the same magnitude that we saw in SF or Walnut Creek for example.

        3. Keith Olson

          David writes:

          My weak sauce comment is that three burglaries by two individuals hardly constitutes some sort of organized retail crime. 

          Then I read a new article just posted on the Vanguard itself where this is written:

          Shoplifting has become of great concern to the police department due to organized theft where they are using the “smash and grab” method. This involves individuals raiding the business with trash bags and filling them with merchandise and running out.




        4. Alan Miller

          This is not the same magnitude that we saw in SF or Walnut Creek for example.

          There are certainly societal waves that the media latches on to and creates the perception that something is happening more than it did before.  I can think of some woke-ish subjects that seemed to imply an increase when it was only an increase in media focus.

          So it’s possible the Yolo CVS-ish robberies were a media focus.  Or an increase.  Really this isn’t about comparison to what is going on in SF as that is a very different scene, but rather to past levels of theft at CVS-ish stores in Yolo.  That is the question.

          1. David Greenwald

            This was the November 24 statement by the DA: ” Numerous stores and shopping malls across northern and southern California have been victimized by large groups of thieves acting in concert, causing many businesses to board up their windows. While Yolo County has not yet experienced similar crimes, law enforcement remains prepared to respond in the event our community experiences such crime. ”

            You also have Deanna Hays comment that people are terrified.

            So while I think you have a point, clearly the DA is tying what happened in Yolo to the bigger picture.

  2. Bill Marshall

    Seems like there is a false premise in this and other threads… that a DA has any influence on the ‘commission of crime’ rates…  if the DA is involved, the crime has already been committed…

    That those who commit crimes will figure out what jurisdiction they are in, likelihood of getting arrested/prosecuted, when weighing whether to do the offense, is just silly/stupid.

    As would be the conclusion that it could be prevented/adjudicated better by a different DA…  just silly/stupid…

    One could just as well point to George (shrub) Bush, Barak Obama, Donald Trump, Gavin Newsom, Joe Biden… all would be equally silly/stupid… some of the most heinous crimes have occurred in states with  rigid/conservative, progressive/lenient leadership.

    Silly/stupid… at best, ill-informed…


  3. Bill Marshall

    The author down-plays possible “organized crime”…

    Organized crime could be behind suspected CA disability fraud | The Sacramento Bee (

    Note that the est. sum is $20 billion… and that the EDD has been dealing with unknown amounts of fraud, organized, and involving those involved in the criminal justice system… inmates and those who are in charge…

    Is it so hard to believe there is “organized crime” behind the shoplifting, catalytic converter thefts, etc.?

    Perhaps there is a new ‘mafia’?

    As some items are lifted from “prohibition”, like MJ, perhaps the ‘rum runners’ need new sources of income… branching out as it were.

    1. Bill Marshall

      And then, there are the “wanna-be”‘s… those are the ‘low hanging fruit’, incompetent, likely to be caught…

      But, of course, no such thing as gangs, nor organized crime… just myths…

      1. David Greenwald

        I think the real question is how organized is organized and whether that really fundamentally changes the nature of the crime. Again, I can see the case for some but not all.

        There are gangs, but a lot of scholars think it has been overplayed the extent to which there is organized or coordination. I know for example having sat through six months of gang injunciton trial a decade ago, there was no evidence of actual structure, hierarchy or organization in the gang in Yolo County.

      1. Bill Marshall

        Nah… denial of organized crime is completely logical, and ‘justice reform’ is logical, humane, and righteous…

        Anyone who asserts that there might well be organized crime, and/or that some folk behave badly, should be tried by vox populi, serve LWOP (at least, Life WithOut Posting… dangerous folk that society should be protected from.

        Al Capone was framed!

        1. David Greenwald

          The glibness here is astonishing.  The reason that I questioned this are the facts as laid out in the complaint by the DA’s office – that the evidence of organization in this case, at least, was two people showing up at a store, with a bag, and taking merchandise without paying.  That’s not exactly deep organizing.  My comment specifically distinguished that from what we saw in SF and Walnut Creek and did not go any broader than the instant case.

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