A bicycle-riding thief who stole from Walgreens and CVS stores in San Francisco is sentenced to 16 months in prison, even after woke DA Chesa Boudin initially defended him by calling him ‘desperate.’
Jean Lugo Romero, 40, was sentenced to 16 months and a year’s probation after pleading guilty to felony grand theft and a misdemeanor charge for petty theft.
He has been released from prison after the judge credited him for time served, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. In addition, he has been ordered to stay away from two Walgreens employees and two stores, as well as one CVS store.
Footage of Romero went viral after an ABC 7 reporter Lyanne Melendez posted a video of the brazen thief shoving nearly a $1,000 worth of cosmetics into a duffle bag in June as a security guard watched on. Romero then left the store on a bicycle, riding straight past the guard.
He was arrested a week later and charged with 15 counts of robbery, grand theft, and burglary after he shoplifted eight different Walgreens and CVS stores.
San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin, who was elected on his ultra-progressive ticket, said in a statement: ‘Whether the work of organized retail theft rings or of individual suspects, the burglaries impacting our local businesses will not be tolerated.
‘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.’
Jean Lugo Romero, 40, (center, in June) was sentenced to 16 months and a year’s probation after pleading guilty to felony grand theft and a misdemeanor charge for petty theft
He reportedly stole almost $1,000 worth of cosmetics from Walgreens in June (pictured). He has since been released from prison after he was granted time served
His comments come just months after he defended Romero by questioning the motive behind his behavior.
He told the New Yorker in June: ‘When I watch that video, I think about five questions that people are not asking that I think they should: Is he drug-addicted, mentally ill, desperate? Is he part of a major retail fencing operation?
‘What’s driving this behavior and is it in any way representative, because it was presented as something symptomatic?’
Boudin also said that perhaps Walgreens had a policy of not confronting shoplifters.
The security guard faced criticism online for failing to act, although some people said he did the right thing by making his presence known and filming him rather than confronting him physically.
Woke San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin retail thieves will be ‘held accountable’ and burglaries ‘will not be tolerated.’ His comments come just months after he called Romero desperate and defended him by questioning if he was ‘drug-addicted, mentally ill, or desperate’
According to a Walgreens employee handbook, staff who witness someone shoplifting are told to notify a manager and ‘never accuse a person of shoplifting or stealing.’
The handbook also states: ‘Don’t attempt to confront or stop a shoplifter or try to follow him or her out of the store.’
‘In many cases, police don’t write an incident report, because the suspect has already left the scene,’ said Matthew Donahue, an assistant district attorney in the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, to the Mission Local.
‘If Walgreens has insurance for certain goods or they expect a certain amount of loss, if they would rather not risk lawsuits or escalation to violence – then maybe that’s something we should know about,’ Boudin said at the time.
He told the magazine that the police make arrests in just two-and-a-half percent of reported thefts.
‘Maybe that’s a good thing – maybe that means they’re prioritizing murders,’ Boudin said at the time.
Romero’s thefts came as the city faced multiple retail crimes, prompting several Walgreens to close. The DA’s office also announced a guilty verdict against Ahmad Shabazz after he robbed three separate Walgreens stores. He will face sentencing on April 15.
Crime hasn’t slowed down as San Francisco has already faced 7,500 thefts in the first three months of the year, up from the almost 5,900 the same time last year.
Also up this year is assault, which is up seven percent at 569 this year, motor vehicle theft is up 5.4 percent, and homicide is up 20 percent. Total crime is up 9.3 percent overall with 11,903 crimes occurring as of April 3.
As crime rises in the city, the Boudin recall campaign is gaining wealthy tech donors, ahead of the June 7 election, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The campaign has generated almost $3million in donations, compared to only $1.05million from groups supporting the DA.
Wealthy tech donors are donating large chunks of change to oust him from office as they believe the DA is making the city less safe, the Chronicle reported. One of Silicon Valley’s top tech investors Ron Conway – who has not donated personally but encourages others to do so – sent an email around the holidays expressing that ‘now is not the time to throw up our hands and walk away from the needs of our beloved city.’
Crime is up 9.3 percent in the city with larceny theft up 28.4 percent. More than 7,000 thefts have already occurred in San Francisco this year
Conway is also an investor in DoorDash, which Boudin sued in 2020, after the company – alongside Lyft and Uber – pumped $200million into a campaign to create exemptions for themselves. Boudin sued the company for ‘misclassifying’ it’s workers as ‘independent contractors’ instead of employees.
The case is currently still pending.
Conway has publicly denounced the DA, telling the Chronicle: ‘Of course, I support the recall of Chesa Boudin, along with San Franciscans from every background and every neighborhood, because he’s incompetent as District Attorney and makes our beloved city less safe every day he remains in office.
‘As a native San Franciscan, grandfather, and homeowner who cares deeply about the city and its future, these are my sole motivations to support his recall, and they’re reasons enough!’ he said in an email to the Chronicle.
Garry Tan, a top donor who has personally given $100,500 to the recall efforts, frequently expresses his disdain for the woke DA, saying that he doesn’t ‘believe [Boudin] is doing his best to protect and ensure those who commit violent crimes are held accountable for victimizing the poor, the disadvantaged, and the general public.’
Tan has also invested in gig economy company Instacart, but denied that his supported the recall because of business interests.