SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – The San Francisco District Attorney’s office announced convictions of two people in Walgreens thefts.
Lugo Romero was convicted and sentenced after he pleaded guilty to felony grand theft and misdemeanor petty theft.
He was sentenced to 16 months in prison and one year probation.
Romero was featured in a widely-circulated video grabbing things from Walgreens and leaving on a bike after the theft spree.
Ahmad Shabazz was found guilty by a jury April 1 on 13 of 14 counts of misdemeanor petty theft, brought against him for five different incidents.
Walgreens has shuttered 11 of its San Francisco locations since 2019, citing high levels of retail theft. Walgreens claimed that providing security in the San Francisco locations is 46 times more expensive than the chain’s average.
A 2019 U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing shows Walgreens had been planning consolidation as a cost-cutting measure, which led some elected officials such as Supervisor Dean Preston, who represents the Haight and the Western Addition on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, to accuse the company of dishonesty. Mayor London Breed said at the time that “a lot of factors come into play.”
Data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows that San Francisco has the highest rate of property crimes among the 20 largest U.S. cities.
After the high-profile Union Square robberies shortly before Thanksgiving, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin joined other Bay Area prosecutors in creating the Bay Area County District Attorneys alliance to combat organized retail theft operations throughout the region.
His office has also partnered with ALTO, an international organization that coordinates the loss prevention efforts of retailers, police, and prosecutors.
“Whether the work of organized retail theft rings or of individual suspects, the burglaries impacting our local businesses will not be tolerated,” Boudin stated in a news release. “The sentence and verdicts handed down are just one way we are working to hold individuals accountable for harm caused by retail theft in San Francisco. We are also continuing our work with partner agencies to dismantle the organized networks which make these crimes profitable.”
Romero has been given a stay-away order from two Walgreens stores, two employees and a CVS. Shabazz’s sentencing is April 15.