San Francisco

SF DA Chesa Boudin Announces Charges for 9 Suspects Linked to Retail Thefts

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Following a string of brazen retail thefts in the San Francisco's Union Square last week, District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced on Tuesday nine people are now facing criminal charges.

On Friday night, a group of between 20 and 40 people ran into the Louis Vuitton store on Geary Street, just across from Union Square, smashing windows and grabbing merchandise before running out.

The group also targeted other stores, according to Boudin's office.

Of the nine arrested, at least three others are connected to a separate Friday night burglary at a cannabis dispensary, and one other is linked to a Walgreen's burglary.

Francill White, Tomiko Miller, Kimberly Cherry, and Ivan Speed have been charged in connection with the Lois Vuitton store incident -- facing burglary, grand theft, receiving stolen property, and looting charges.

The Bay Area continues to get hit by organized retail theft in different cities. In San Francisco, some suspects are expected in court while in the East Bay, small businesses get hit more than once in one month. Bob Redell reports.

In addition, suspects Raymond Phillips, Edward James Jr., and Michael Ray are facing the same charges in connection with the cannabis store burglary.

Prosecutors also allege Jamisi Callaway -- accused of being a passenger inside a getaway vehicle outside of Louis Vuitton -- and Daron Wilson -- accused of burglarizing the Walgreens -- were armed when officers arrested them. Both men are facing several weapons charges.

During a briefing on Tuesday, Boudin called the crimes shocking and bold as similar crimes happened in other parts of the Bay Area over the weekend, including Hayward, Oakland, San Jose, and Walnut Creek.

"You will face serious consequences when you commit serious crimes in our city," Boudin said. "The charges that we're filing today are felonies."

He added, "We will do whatever it takes to keep San Francisco safe. To assure that you can go about your life, that you can go shopping."

San Francisco Police Assistant Chief of Special Operations Mike Redmond said investigators are working "tirelessly" on the case, and investigators believe the retail thefts throughout the Bay Area may be connected.

"There's a lot of work to do here," he said.

The Police Department has deployed extra officers in the Union Square area, as the neighborhood gears up for holiday shopping this upcoming weekend.

The crimes, some of which were caught on camera and were widely shared online, come as Boudin is facing a recall election in February.

During Tuesday's briefing, Safer SF Without Boudin, one of the groups organizing the recall election, held a rally outside Boudin's office, located 350 Rhode Island Street, during the briefing. The group has accused Boudin and his office of being too lax when it comes to pursuing charges in violent crimes.

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