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Target shoplifting suspect arrested for thefts over $40,000

November 18, 2021 GMT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A woman was arrested at a Target store in San Francisco after allegedly stealing more than $40,000 worth of merchandise over the course of 120 visits to the store, officials said Wednesday.

San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott described the woman, identified as Aziza Graves, as “a particularly brazen and prolific retail theft offender,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Graves would allegedly use the store’s self-checkout kiosks to scan merchandise and then pay nominal amounts like $1 in cash, or in some instances, one cent and then leave with the items she had shopped for without completing payment, the office of District Attorney Chesa Boudin said in a statement.

The thefts occurred between October 2020 and November 2021. Graves was arrested at the store Tuesday following an investigation by the district attorney’s office and the San Francisco police department.

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Graves was charged with eight felony counts of grand theft and 120 misdemeanor counts of petty theft, the district attorney’s office said.

San Francisco city officials unveiled a plan in September to respond to reports of brazen shoplifting in the city.

Target officials reached out to the district attorney’s office and asked authorities to investigate Graves, Boudin’s office said.

“We are committed to stopping those who participate in organized retail theft, including by dismantling the fencing networks that make this type of crime profitable,” Boudin said in a statement.

Boudin faces a recall election in June fueled by critics who say he has failed to prosecute repeat offenders and ignored growing crime in San Francisco that has contributed to the deterioration of the city’s quality of life.

Crime has long been an issue in San Francisco, where visitors are warned repeatedly to hide valuables in car trunks and drug dealing takes place in the open. Videos of brazen shoplifting and auto break-ins have gone viral, reinforcing the idea of the city as a lawless place.