SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) – A man seen in a viral video brazenly shoplifting from a San Francisco Walgreens last week is now facing 15 charges in connection with that theft, as well as seven other alleged shoplifting cases, District Attorney Chesa Boudin said Wednesday.
Jean Lugo Romero, 40, has been charged with grand theft, second-degree robbery, second-degree burglary and attempted grand theft, among other charges, according to Boudin.
The eight shoplifting cases took place between May 11 and last Saturday, prosecutors said.
Romero was set to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon.
In the viral video, which began circulating online on June 14, the suspect identified as Romero can be seen at the Walgreens at 300 Gough St. as he calmly places items in a bag as a customer and a security officer watch.
Although the security guard tried to stop the suspect, the suspect brushes past him and rides out the door on his bicycle.
“Local businesses and neighborhood stores are the backbone of our community, and we are working to protect San Francisco stores and consumers,” Boudin said in a statement. “In addition to our prosecutions, our office is engaged in numerous strategic partnerships, dismantling the criminal networks that make these crimes profitable.”
Boudin said his office is working with the Florida-based security firm ALTO, which helps coordinate loss prevention efforts between retailers, police and prosecutors, including helping retailers file police reports and gather evidence.
Officers arrested Romero on Saturday following a separate shoplifting case in the 400 block of Haight Street, where Romero allegedly, in a similar manner to the theft in the video, placed merchandise in a bag and tried to leave. In that case, the merchandise was valued at $978, police said.
The viral video sparked an online debate about the efficacy of local laws on shoplifting, including 2014’s California voter-approved Proposition 47, which reclassified some crimes, like shoplifting, from felonies to misdemeanors.
In response to the video, the San Francisco Police Officers Association said on Twitter last week, “The Walgreens shoplifting video may shock the rest of the country, but it’s just another day in SF.”
Copyright © 2021 Bay City News, Inc.