The bicycle-and-trash-bag scofflaw who gained viral fame in a Twitter video last year robbing a San Francisco Walgreens was arrested again last week over two incidents at the Haight Street CVS, and you can probably take a wild guess what he’s accused of doing again.
It was June 14, 2021 when KGO reporter Lyanne Melendez hit a journalistic ”right place at the right time” jackpot. She captured a stunning video of a shoplifter brazenly riding into a Walgreens on a bicycle and flat-out emptying the shelves and tossing gobs of stolen merchandise into a trash bag. The tweet below made international headlines, in no small part because of a call-out of then-District Attorney Chesa Boudin, and the accompanying hashtag #NoConsequences.
But funny, when the exact same guy commits the exact same crime 13 months later, this time under a newly installed district attorney, the exact same reporter does not put the DA on blast nor complain of hashtag-no-consequences.
UPDATE: I shot this video a little more than a year ago. The man went to prison and served time. He was eventually released and on Saturday SF police arrested him again, they say, for #shoplifting at a @cvspharmacy store. pic.twitter.com/ojCVF0JRFm— Lyanne Melendez (@LyanneMelendez) July 18, 2022
It seems a fairly routine crime case as the Chronicle reports that SFPD arrested a suspect for two separate robberies at the CVS at Haight and Fillmore Streets this weekend. But what jumps out here is the sentence “Jean Carlos Lugo-Romero, 41, was taken into custody at about 11 a.m. Saturday at a store located at Haight and Fillmore streets after attempting to leave the scene on a bicycle with a large plastic bag.”
Jean Carlos Lugo-Romero? Yep, that’s the fellow from the infamous Walgreens video, who had apparently robbed eight different Walgreens and CVS stores in a one-month span before ultimately getting arrested, and who pleaded guilty to doing so in April. According to KGO, he was arrested Saturday for two separate shoplifting incidents at the Haight and Fillmore Streets CVS, which parenthetically, is the exact same CVS where he was finally arrested on June 19 of last year.
According to an SFPD press release, Lugo-Romero visited his old haunt last Thursday, and proceeded to repeat the act that made him internet-famous. “Officers arrived on scene and spoke with the store employee who stated that the suspect entered the store with his own plastic trash bag and took dozens of items of over-the-counter medications, clothing, and cosmetics totaling in value of approximately $1,500,” SFPD says. “The suspect fled the scene on a bicycle on Fillmore Street. Officers searched the area for the suspect to no avail.”
Come Saturday morning, he allegedly pulls the same schtick. “On July 16, 2022, at approximately 11:00 a.m. SFPD officers from Northern Station responded to the same retail store located at Haight and Fillmore Streets regarding a burglary suspect that entered the store,” the release continues. “The officer was alerted by a store employee that the male suspect just exited and was on the corner of Haight and Fillmore Streets. The officer observed the suspect mount a bicycle with a large plastic trash bag and began to ride away. The officer approached the suspect with his vehicle and ordered the suspect to stop, to which he complied. As the officer proceeded to place the suspect under arrest, the suspect resisted the officer’s attempt to place him into handcuffs.”
According to KRON4, Lugo-Romero has been booked on charges of burglary, violation of protection order, trespassing, resisting arrest, possession of burglary [tool], possession of drug paraphernalia, and a probation violation. And CVS employees citywide will probably be pleased to see that as of this morning, Lugo-Romero is still locked up in County Jail 2.
But this does lead to an obvious question… how is this man out of state prison when he was sentenced to 16 months, not even four months ago? Well, he was actually released immediately, because as the Chronicle reported at the time, when he was sentenced in April, “Lugo Romero was released after he was credited the time he had already served behind bars.”
So will he just walk right out again? We’ll see, but new DA Brooke Jenkins has more book to throw at him at her disposal. Lugo-Romero’s previous sentence had probation, and orders to stay away from that CVS. He is now alleged to have violated both, so that’s more charges there, and there may be more to come.
“The SFPD Burglary Unit has over a dozen open investigations in similar thefts, at the same retail store, where the primary suspect is Lugo-Romero. The estimated loss of stolen items exceeds $15,000 dollars,” SFPD says in their release. “It is anticipated several additional charges will be placed on Lugo-Romero in the coming days.”
Image: @LyanneMelendez via Twitter