Since I took office, on behalf of our communities, I have been asking our law enforcement agencies about possible public safety measures to keep our district safe when we saw a wave of residential burglaries in our neighborhoods. Our communities deserve to be safe on our streets and most definitely in our homes. So I am pleased to share with you today that thanks to the San Francisco District Attorney's Office and their partnership with the San Francisco Police Department, our law enforcement agencies announced the arrest and filing of more than two dozen charges against two defendants in their role in over 28 separate residential burglaries. Many of the burglaries took place in the Richmond District. I thank the DA and SFPD for working together and holding these individuals accountable for their actions.
Additionally, earlier this month the District Attorney's office announced a lawsuit against a San Diego-based law firm for filing thousands of fraudulent disability access lawsuits against small, immigrant-owned businesses in San Francisco. This is an important step to protect our small businesses against fraud, especially hearing from many merchants on Clement Street as well as on Balboa Street who were victims of some of these fraudulent lawsuits.
I will continue to demand our law enforcement agencies to work together because only by working together, we are better at keeping our communities safe for the long term.
District Attorney Chesa Boudin, Supervisor Aaron Peskin, and myself at Magical Ice Cream, a small business in Chinatown that was hit with a false ADA lawsuit. Many of our businesses along Clement Street have also been hit.
Please see below for the full press releases and additional details from the DA's office.
Coordination by SFDA’s office, SFPD results in felony charges today for residential burglary series
Defendants to be arraigned this afternoon face more than two dozen felony charges for 28 separate burglaries over a four-month period
A coordinated operation by the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office’s Special Investigations Unit and the San Francisco Police Department’s Major Crimes Burglary Detail has resulted in more than two dozen felony charges being filed today against two defendants for 28 separate residential burglaries over a four-month period.
San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced the charging decisions against Steve Levy and Deshawn White for their role in the burglaries. The District Attorney’s Office has charged Mr. Levy with 23 counts of first-degree burglary; five counts of attempted first-degree burglary, three counts of first-degree robbery; one count of attempted first-degree robbery; and three counts of elder abuse. Mr. White is charged with six counts of first-degree burglary; and two counts of attempted first degree burglary.
“All people deserve to feel and to be safe, especially in their homes,” said District Attorney Chesa Boudin. “Our office’s partnership with the San Francisco Police Department in a lengthy investigation led to the arrests of these two suspects. Together, we will hold them accountable for the harms they caused. The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office Victim Services Division will work to support the victims and connect them with services to address their needs. This critical resource is now possible due to our expansion of thethe Victim Services Division to include, for the first time in office history, new advocates to support victims of property crime.”
“Few property crimes are as profoundly unsettling to victims as residential burglaries, and they can take an especially traumatic toll on seniors who are robbed of their sense of security in addition to their property,” said Chief of Police Bill Scott . “We hope this case sends a strong message to would-be burglars that they will be held accountable for their wrongdoing in San Francisco, and we’re grateful to all our partners for making this operation so successful. We thank District Attorney Boudin and his team at the D.A.’s Special Investigations Unit for their partnership. We’re grateful to our officers and investigators in SFPD’s Major Crimes Unit’s Burglary Detail, SFPD’s Special Investigations Unit and our Community Violence Reduction Team for their tireless work to put these cases together. We appreciate our Tactical Unit and our law enforcement partners from neighboring jurisdictions who aided them in making the arrests without incident, including the Oakland Police Department SWAT team and the Daly City Police Department SWAT team. Finally, we’re appreciative for the support of our Board of Supervisors, including Supervisor Chan, who work hard to keep our residents safe.”
“Every San Franciscan deserves to be safe on our streets and most definitely in their homes,” said District 1 Supervisor Connie Chan, whose district has experienced an increase in home and garage break-ins. “I want to thank our District Attorney for his diligent and thorough investigation, and for working with the Police Department. Together we keep our communities safe and hold people accountable for the crimes they committed.”
The residences spanned across the city, with a concentration in the Richmond District. In addition to the Richmond, homes were burglarized in the Sunset, the Mission, the Outer Mission, the Excelsior, and Visitation Valley.
This investigation is ongoing. If you have any information on these incidents, please contact the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office at (628) 652-4000 or the San Francisco Police Department’s Anonymous 24/7 Tip Line at (415) 575-4444. Callers can also text a tip by entering TIP411 (847411) in the “To” field and the keyword “SFPD” in the text field, followed by the message.
San Francisco District Attorney Boudin Announces Groundbreaking Civil Prosecution Against Law Firm for Exploiting ADA to File Thousands of Fraudulent Lawsuits Against Small Businesses
On April 11, 2022, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin and Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón announce that the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office and the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office are filing a civil complaint against the law firm Potter Handy LLP. Potter Handy has filed thousands of fraudulent, boilerplate lawsuits against small businesses alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and California’s Unruh Act, a civil rights statute. These lawsuits seek damages and coerce cash settlements from vulnerable small business owners, regardless of whether there are actual ADA violations at the businesses or whether compliance is “readily achievable” under the ADA. It is estimated that well over 200 businesses in San Francisco alone were targeted by these fraudulent lawsuits.