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District attorneys from multiple Bay Area counties form alliance to tackle organized retail theft


SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) – Bay Area prosecutors are joining forces to tackle organized theft in retail stores.

Around the Bay Area, video after video, a major problem has been highlighted in recent days.

“It’s not just a theft issue, it’s organized,” San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

RELATED: Contra Costa Co. DA files felony charges against 3 suspects in Walnut Creek Nordstrom store robbery

Now, Bay Area prosecutors are forming an alliance between Contra Costa, Alameda, San Francisco, Marin, San Joaquin, Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, where District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe has said the act of being talking would increase the ability of prosecutors to be tough on crime.

“If someone committed the crimes in San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara all at once, the law will allow us to put it all together in one complaint, in one county, which will allow us to get a sentence. heavier that way. ”Wagstaffe said.

So far, Wagstaffe says information sharing between counties has mostly happened between law enforcement agencies.

Yesterday, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced felony charges against 9 people in connection with recent burglaries, including at Louis Vuitton in Union Square.

VIDEO: Chesa Boudin, SF district attorney, files a complaint against 9 suspects in the Union Square robbery

“It’s not a problem limited to San Francisco, we are seeing similar crimes happening in the Bay Area and across the country,” Boudin said.

Wagstaffe told ABC7 News its office has already prosecuted at least 2 of the 9 people arrested for theft; Francill White, 53, and Kimberly Cherry, 28, whom a family member told ABC7 News, are a mother and daughter, both accused of theft from Louis Vuitton.

Wagstaffe says a judge ordered an arrest warrant against Cherry after she failed to appear in San Mateo County court in July.

RELATED: San Jose Mayor, DA Discuss Arrests in Recent Retail Thefts

Regarding the organized nature of these crimes, Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen says there is certainly coordination.

“What we’ve seen is that the goods are stolen from one place and sold to another place. And so this is a network that we are discovering and removing,” Rosen said.

While prosecutors see an opportunity, at least one public defender sees a potential problem.

Alameda County Public Defender Brendon Woods told ABC7 News: “I am concerned about the ‘one size fits all’ approach. The pandemic has wreaked havoc in our communities. Many people are committing crimes out of economic desperation and out of desperation. Simply incarcerating everyone involved in these types of theft crimes will not solve the root cause of the problem. This type of response has only led to the mass caging, or worse, of black people. and brunettes. It never came to justice. “

Bay Area Crimes, Sparking Conversations About Our Justice System.

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