Nine people believed to be involved with the recent organized retail theft in Union Square are slapped with felony charges, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin said, as reported by KRON4.
“Trust and safety are our core values in this city. [Friday night’s] organized crime in Union Square, Bayview District and beyond must never happen again,” Boudin said in a tweet. “These crimes are happening around the Bay and across the country. I stand in partnership with our local, regional, state, and federal partners as we work together to do whatever it takes to keep you safe.”
At around 8 in the evening on Friday, robberies started in San Francisco through the break-in incident in retail stores like Bloomingdale’s, Louis Vuitton, and Burberry located in Union Square.
Police officers were seen in a video dragging an assailant from an escape vehicle while some are trying to flee with their stolen items.
Dugan said that local people are commonly behind the organization of flash mobs that gather members and deploy them to take away specific items asked by criminal groups across the country.
People in this stealing group can get as much as $500 to $1, 000 to steal items they can possibly get and submit them to criminal groups.
“Crew bosses organize them, they’ll give him the crowbars, and in some cases even rent them cars, or provide them with escape routes or a list of products to actually go out and steal. It looks very chaotic but it’s actually very well organized,” Dugan explained.
In the wake of the incident, Union Square will be subject to limited car access. San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott said police officers go on with patrol activities in the location and will continue “for the foreseeable future.”
The incident was also slammed by Governor Gavin Newsom who said on Monday that he has no empathy or sympathy for the said crimes. “They’re not just stealing people’s products and impacting their livelihoods, they’re stealing a sense of place and confidence,” the governor said, adding that government officials and retailers have convened to address the problem with additional police visibility.
“You will see substantially more starting today, in and around areas that are highly trafficked and coming into the holiday season Black Friday in shopping malls,” Newsom told the media.