Woman Charged with Stealing $40K of Merchandise from California Target Out of Jail

 A woman who took more than $40,000 in merchandize from a San Francisco Target is out of jail as the city faces an ongoing surge in retail looting and theft. 

Aziza Graves is wearing an ankle bracelet and faces 120 misdemeanor counts of petty theft after she scanned dozens of items and made nominal payments  before leaving incomplete transactions.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported on the soft on crime treatment given suspects in the state: 

The 41 year-old woman was released from jail by a San Francisco Superior Court Judge on Nov. 24, six days after her arraignment. Officials in El Dorado County issued a warrant for Graves over allegations she had trespassed in a casino, but law enforcement declined to pick her up, according to a San Francisco district attorney spokesperson.

As she awaits trial, Graves is a conspicuous figure in an agitated political debate that has fractured San Francisco. In this case the argument is over what’s an effective way to deal with prolific perpetrators of minor crime while many parts of the community are fed up and looking for solutions from city leaders.

The Chronicle covered how the controversial San Francisco District Attorney’s role in the case:

District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced Graves’ arrest on Nov. 17 with a press release and tweet touting the investigation and his office’s Organized Retail Theft Taskforce, which he later said was leading several coordinated efforts to take down fencing operations and halt retail theft in San Francisco. Boudin’s office did not oppose Graves’ release from custody, with a GPS monitor and an order to stay away from Target stores. 

Shortly after taking office in 2020, Boudin put in place the policy to let people out of jail while they await trial unless they pose a threat to public safety.

But his case spotlights the division in the city about this policy.

“We could in theory put this woman in prison for the rest of her life,” Michael Romano, chair of California’s Committee on Revision of the Penal Code and founder of Stanford University’s Three Strikes and Justice Advocacy Project told the Chronicle.

“But that doesn’t solve the problem from a deterrence perspective — it doesn’t stop the next person from doing it — and it’s much more expensive to incarcerate somebody than to provide treatment,” he added/

But Vern Pierson, the district attorney of El Dorado County and past president of the California District Attorneys Association, said Graves represents how the legal system is failing to hold people accountable for their illegal behavior.

“Frankly, someone like this — she knows there’s no consequence,” Pierson said. 

Graves is a critic of Prop 47, a ballot measure approved by California voters in 2014 that put the threshold for a felony theft at $950. The Chronicle reported:

It’s resulted, he said, in unusual prosecutions like the one against Graves, whose charging document is extensive, but packed with minor offenses. Nothing in state law would prevent a court from locking Graves up for a long time, Romano said, noting that under state Proposition 47 she could be eligible to serve six months for each count of petty theft.

And the release policy might also fail to get alleged criminals to comply with their release orders.

Statistics from the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office show that as of July 31, 2021, 381 people on electronic monitoring failed to comply with the terms of their release once, and 160 had violated release terms. 

Woman Charged with Stealing $40K of Merchandise from California Target Out of Jail Woman Charged with Stealing $40K of Merchandise from California Target Out of Jail Reviewed by Your Destination on December 04, 2021 Rating: 5

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