Man seen stealing from SF Walgreens in viral video last year arrested, accused of shoplifting at CVS

Lyanne Melendez Image
Tuesday, July 19, 2022
SF Walgreens' shoplifter arrested again for stealing from CVS
Man seen stealing from San Francisco Walgreens in viral video last year, arrested again for shoplifting at CVS after serving a prison sentence.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- We've all seen the video of a man shoplifting at a Walgreens and then leaving on a bicycle. That man was eventually arrested, spent time in prison, and was released. Now, San Francisco police say, he was doing it all over again until he was arrested on Saturday.

Just over a year ago, the viral video of Jean Lugo Romero filling a garbage bag with items from Walgreens and then fleeing on a bicycle highlighted San Francisco's organized retail theft problem.

He was eventually caught and sent to prison. He served half of his 16-month sentence and was released a few months ago.

On Saturday ABC7 News discovered that not only was he back on the streets of San Francisco but arrested for, police say, shoplifting at the CVS pharmacy on Fillmore and Haight Streets.

On Monday, the items he was trying to shoplift were still behind the cash register.

An employee of that CVS said Lugo Romero would come two or three times a day.

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The charges are in connection to seven shoplifting-related cases that occurred between May 11 and June 19, the San Francisco DA's office said.

"I'm only here someday until noon some days until four. I've seen him twice and I've heard he comes in at night too. He goes straight to where the garbage bags are, he opens one up, grabs a couple of bags, fills them up and walks away and he usually helps himself to a beverage and leaves," said the employee who did not want to be identified.

Police told us on Monday they think Lugo-Romero has stolen from that CVS store at least a dozen times.

"We can document up to $15,000 worth of items being stolen. We know he is prolific. It's very possible that there are other incidents and thousands of more dollars that we are not able to document at this time," said Officer Robert Rueca, spokesperson for the San Francisco Police Department.

When Lugo-Romero was charged more than a year ago, former District Attorney Chesa Boudin said, "Whether the work of organized retail theft rings or of individual suspects, the burglaries impacting our local businesses will not be tolerated."

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On Monday, in a statement released to ABC7 News, the newly appointed D.A. Brooke Jenkins said, "We have to send a strong message that repeat offenders will face consequences for their actions if they continue to choose a life of crime."

Just by looking around at the empty shelves and locked-up cases, it was apparent to us that the CVS store in question continues to be a target of shoplifters.

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