District prosecutors form alliance to hold armed robbery suspects accountable

Seven California district attorneys have formed an alliance with each other and with local police and state law enforcement agencies to tackle the recent increase in organized theft in retail stores.

Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco, Contra Costa, Alameda, Marin and San Joaquin county prosecutors say they will share information and pool investigative efforts across jurisdictional boundaries to hold thieves accountable Mafia-type premeditated “smash”. armed robbery ”or“ takeover ”.

“Each office has promised a prosecutor to collaborate and participate in the joint effort,” according to a joint statement released Tuesday by district prosecutors.

The alliance between prosecutors follows incidents in the Bay Area over the past week, in which crowds of thieves brazenly broke into businesses and fled with goods.

Incidents have occurred in Walnut Creek, where dozens of thieves stormed a Nordstrom store on Saturday, as well as in Oakland, Fairfield, Pleasanton, Hayward, Santa Clara, San Leandro and San Jose. KPIX 5 followed a timeline of recent incidents here. In addition to high-end jewelry and clothing stores, cannabis dispensaries have fallen victim. Last month a jewelry store at Serramonte Center in Daly City was targeted.

On Tuesday, DA Chesa Boudin of San Francisco announced that nine people were facing felony charges in connection with incidents at a Louis Vuitton store in Union Square, a Walgreens and a cannabis business.

The new DA alliance aims to empower more suspects through data sharing, crime analysis and pooled investigative tools. DA offices said they would continue to work with local retailers and state officials to “ensure laws that cover organized thief networks are enforceable and improve consumer safety.”

“The recent premeditated retail theft action in several northern California cities is intolerable and will not be accepted by district attorneys, law enforcement officials and members of our community,” the attorney said. from San Mateo District, Steve Wagstaffe. “Anyone who engages in such criminal behavior should expect prosecution, conviction and incarceration. There is no leniency for such behavior.

According to the California Highway Patrol Organized Crime Task Force, witnesses to organized retail thefts can also play an important role in cracking down on organized retail theft. The agency advises against intervening in the crime, but asks the public to note what those involved looked like and, if possible, obtain a license plate and description of the vehicle. Buyers should report any suspicious activity to store managers or the police when it is safe to do so, and also submit photos and videos of suspects or criminal activity while it is safe to do so. .

“California has seen changes in crime trends and tactics, and Bay Area prosecutors are forming this partnership to respond to the present moment,” said Cristine DeBerry, executive director of the California Attorneys Alliance. “Partnerships like [the DA’s alliance] reflect the need to implement modern solutions to modern problems. These crimes happen quickly and they may not be caught red-handed. Through information sharing and coordination, there will be a greater likelihood of arrests and accountability than everyone else working in isolation. “

Image from video posted by the Concord Police Department of the armed robbery of a jewelry store at Sun Valley Mall on November 16.