A brazen snatch-and-grab sunglass theft operation that hit several stores in SF and the East Bay has brought three-year prison sentences for two Contra Costa County men in their early 20s.
You’ll notice the above headline says “snatch-and-grab,” which is a different term from the expression smash-and-grab that we see all too frequently in Bay Area News these days. A smash-and-grab involves forceful entry, like breaking through a storefront’s windows (sometimes with a car!). A snatch-and-grab is more the flash mob-style burglary, where a group of suspects walks into a store like normal customers, then simultaneously grabs the loot in a way that overwhelms staff because there’s too many burglars to stop.
And that is the category of theft for which SF DA Brooke Jenkins just got two separate three-years prison sentences for a couple of Contra Costa County men. The pair admitted to being involved in a high-end sunglasses theft ring where they and others would charge into Sunglass Hut, LensCrafters, or Veo Optics stores in SF, grab as many pairs of shades as possible, and hop into a waiting getaway car. The pair were part of this operation that reportedly spanned from November 2021 through July 2022.
Delandro Belvine-Brown (22) of Antioch and Sean Raquel Jevonce Simon, Jr. (24) of Richmond both pleaded guilty to robbery and were sentenced to three years apiece, according to a Thursday morning announcement from Jenkins’s office.
“Retail theft continues to have a major impact on San Francisco’s business community and the city’s economic livelihood,” Jenkins said in a press release. “These crimes demand accountability and we need to send the message to others involved in this criminal enterprise that, with the support of our local law enforcement partners, our office will continue to pursue and prosecute those involved.”
The thefts reportedly occurred in both San Francisco and Brentwood, according to the release. It adds the two are identified using “store surveillance videos, social media posts, and mobile phone records.”
Both men are currently in custody and will be transported to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to begin serving their sentences.
Image: wu yi via Unsplash