San Francisco Police Make Arrests in “Smash and Grab” Organized Retail Crime Series 22-075

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4 mins read

Investigators link three juvenile suspects to involvement in at least 10 different retail theft incidents that occurred within one month across the city

In April 2022, investigators from the SFPD’s General Work Detail began investigating a series of “smash and grab” style organized retail crimes that were linked to numerous other incidents. As a result of this investigation, numerous arrests have been made.

Between the dates of March 18, 2022, and April 10, 2022, ten different smash and grab retail thefts occurred at locations that span six different police districts in San Francisco. Multiple locations were targeted more than once.

On March 18, 2022, six suspects entered a retail store on the 1100 block of Columbus Avenue in the Central police district. Four suspects went behind the front counter to steal high-value merchandise while two suspects acted as lookouts. The suspects fled with more than $6,000 in unpaid merchandise. During the course of the investigation, a 15-year-old male and a 16-year-old male were identified as suspects and arrested for grand theft (487(a) PC), burglary (459 PC (2ND)), and organized retail theft (490.4(a)(1) PC).

On March 20, 2022, nine suspects entered a retail store on the 3200 block of Divisadero Street in the Northern police district. The suspects broke a security display and went behind the front counter to steal high-value merchandise. When a customer confronted one of the suspects, the suspect assaulted that customer. The suspects fled with over $4,000 in unpaid merchandise. Three of the suspects were arrested nearby by responding officers.

A 17-year-old male, 16-year-old male, and 16-year-old female were arrested on charges of grand theft (487(a) PC), conspiracy (182(a) PC), and vandalism (594(b)(1) PC).

During the course of the investigation, the suspect who assaulted the customer was identified as a 15-year-old male who was subsequently arrested for grand theft (487(a)PC), burglary (459 PC (2nd)), organized retail theft (490.4(a)(1)PC) and assault and battery (242 PC).

On March 24, 2022, four suspects entered a retail store on the 1100 block of Columbus Avenue and two suspects acted as lookouts. The suspects attempted to break open a security display, took merchandise from an aisle and two suspects went behind the front counter to steal high-value merchandise. The suspects fled with more than $1,500 in unpaid merchandise. During the course of the investigation, two suspects were identified as a 15-year-old male and a 16-year-old male and were arrested on charges of grand theft (487(a) PC), burglary (459 PC (2nd)), and organized retail theft (490.4 (a)(1) PC).

On March 27, 2022, four suspects entered a retail store on the 900 block of Geneva Avenue in the Ingleside police district. Three suspects went behind the front counter to steal high-value merchandise and one suspect acted as a lookout. A security guard was able to detain two suspects and recovered more than $2,500 in merchandise. During the course of the investigation, two suspects who were identified as a 15-year-old male and a 16-year-old male were arrested on charges of attempted grand theft (664/487(a) PC), burglary (459 PC (2nd)), and attempted organized retail theft (664/490.4(a)(1) PC).

On March 30, 2022, six suspects entered a retail store on the 1100 block of Columbus Avenue in the Central police district. The suspects began stealing from an aisle and behind the front counter. While an employee was filming the theft taking place, two suspects assaulted the employee, dragged him outside the store, and stole his cellphone. The suspects fled with more than $1,800 in unpaid merchandise.

During the course of the investigation, three suspects were identified as a 15-year-old male, 16-year-old male, and 14-year-old male and were arrested on charges of burglary (459 PC (2nd)), grand theft (487(a)PC), and organized retail theft (490.4(a)(1) PC). The 15-year-old male received an additional charge of robbery (211 PC (2nd)).

On March 30, 2022, six suspects entered a retail store on the 3200 block of 20th Avenue in the Taraval police district. One suspect began stealing from store displays. When confronted by an employee, one of the suspects assaulted the employee several times. The suspects fled with more than $900 in unpaid merchandise. During the course of the investigation, three suspects were identified as a 15-year-old male, 16-year-old male, and 14-year-old male and were arrested on charges of burglary (459 PC (2nd)), grand theft (487(a) PC), and organized retail theft (490.4 PC). The 15-year-old male received an additional charge of robbery (211 PC (2nd)).

On April 2, 2022, three suspects entered a retail store on the 800 block of Market Street in the Tenderloin police district. The suspects began taking merchandise and when an employee confronted a suspect, a physical altercation occurred, and the suspect brandished a knife. Two suspects were stopped nearby by BART police officers and identified as a 17-year-old male and a 15-year-old male and were arrested for robbery (211 PC) and conspiracy (182 (a)(1) PC).

On April 3, 2022, five suspects entered a retail store on the 2600 block of Mission Street in the Mission police district. The suspects began breaking security displays and attempted to force their way into an employee-only area. The suspects fled with more than $2,600 in unpaid merchandise. During the course of the investigation, two suspects were identified as a 16-year-old male and a 14-year-old male and were arrested on charges of burglary (459 PC (2nd)), grand theft (487(a) PC), and organized retail theft (490.4(a)(1) PC).

The 16-year-old male received an additional charge of robbery (211 PC (2nd)).

On April 8, 2022, three suspects entered the same retail store on the 2600 block of Mission Street. Employees recognized some of the same suspects from the incident on April 3 and locked themselves in an employee-only area. The suspects fled with more than $2,300 in unpaid merchandise. During the course of the investigation, one suspect was identified as a 14-year-old male and was arrested on charges of burglary (459 PC (2nd)), grand theft (487(a) PC), and organized retail theft (490.4(a)(1) PC).

On April 10, 2022, three suspects committed a strong-arm robbery and assault on two victims on the 3200 block of 20th Avenue. An officer and off-duty police recruit witnessed the incident and broke up the assault.  The three suspects fled the scene, but 2 suspects were found and arrested by responding officers. They were identified as a 16-year-old male and 14-year-old male and were arrested on charges of robbery (211 PC), assault likely to cause great bodily injury (245(a)(4) PC), false imprisonment (236 PC), criminal threats (422 PC), conspiracy (182(a) PC), and battery (242 PC).

The 14, 15, and 16-year-old males mentioned in all the above incidents are the same individuals. These cases remain active and ongoing as some of the suspects in these incidents remain outstanding. Anyone with information regarding these investigations is asked to call the SFPD Tip Line at 1-415-575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD. You may remain anonymous.  

SFPD Incidents: 220180115,220183545, 220194774, 220201266, 220208068, 220208472, 220215881, 220217627, 220217627, and 220235566.